Some people have voiced concern about
immunizations when multiple vaccines for different
diseases are given at the same time. These people fear that harmful side
effects are more likely because the child's
immune system is not able to combat all of the vaccine
organisms at the same time.
Getting more than one shot (injection)
of vaccine at the same time may seem like a lot to handle. But babies have
billions of immune system cells in their bodies. Beginning at birth, the immune
system actively responds to hundreds of thousands of invading organisms.
For parents, childhood vaccines are a source of reassurance -- protecting your child against disease naturally helps you sleep better at night -- but also anxiety about side effects and reactions.
With misinformation about vaccines and health problems, it can be difficult for a parent to sort it all out.
For help, WebMD turned to the CDC's Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, director of its immunization safety office.
After careful study, more and more vaccines are being combined into a
single shot, such as the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR). Combining vaccines
means fewer shots need to be given. In most cases, each vaccine provides the same protection that it would if it had been given alone.1
The U.S. Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend
that in one doctor visit a child get all of the vaccines needed at his or her
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). General recommendations on immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR, 60(RR-02): 1-60. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr6002.pdf?source=govdelivery.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
William Atkinson, MD, MPH - Public Health and Preventive Medicine
November 10, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 10, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this