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Risks of Multiple Vaccinations

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.

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Rotavirus (RV) Vaccine

Rotavirus gets its name from the fact that, under a microscope, the virus resembles a wheel. And you could say, like you might say about a wheel, rotavirus goes round and round. This nasty, potentially lethal bug causes severe acute gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting primarily in infants and young children. Fortunately, there are two safe rotavirus vaccines that can protect children from this disease.

Read the Rotavirus (RV) Vaccine article > >

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 age.

Citations

  1. 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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Atkinson, MD, MPH - Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Last Revised November 10, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: 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 information.

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