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.
Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by a strain of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. This nasty bug is one of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in children aged 2 to 18 in the U.S.
Meningococcal disease can include meningitis -- a serious, potentially life-threatening inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord -- and a life-threatening blood infection. Meningococcal disease can cause limb loss through amputation, hearing loss, problems with the nervous...
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
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