"I thought," OK, we'll do this, "says Imamura, 39, Torrance, Calif." But we'll slow it down so your body gets acclimated and doesn't "face six different things suddenly." "
Seven years later, Imamura says her son is a" very healthy "active boy who loves to play sports
But delaying vaccines is risky. Many pediatricians will tell you that a more gradual approach to vaccinations is better than no vaccinations at all, but they offer some hard advice to parents considering it.
"Every day you are entitled to receive a vaccine that you do not get one, the risk of an invasive disease persists, "said Dr. Charles Golden, executive medical director of the Primary Care Network at Children's Hospital of Orange County.
New outbreaks of measles , dust and whooping cough have again returned a word war over vaccinations.
The dampers are often painted as two-sided: in a camp, the medical facility, behind science, strongly promotes vaccination of children against 1
4 childhood diseases by age 2. In the other, a small but vocal minority – the so-called anti-waxes – dispels the shots and believes that the risks of vaccines outweigh the dangers of the diseases.
The idea that there are two opposing sides prevents a large middle ground occupied by up to a quarter of the parents, who believe in vaccinating their children but, like Imamuras, choose to do it more gradually. They worry about the health effects of so many shots in such a short time, and in some cases, they completely abandon some vaccines.
Alternative vaccine plans have been around for several years, promoted by some doctors and adorned by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy. Donald Trump endorsed the idea during a Republican Presidential Dialogue for 2015. Even with measles outbreaks in the United States, at least 20 states have proposed antiviral counts ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930214806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/110930164806-parents-doubt-vaccine-syringes-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>
The concept became great after more than a decade ago, when Robert W. Sears, an Orange County, Calif., Pediatrician, published "The Vaccine Book," which included two alternative schedules. Both delay vaccines, and one of them, also allow parents to skip shots for measles, sheep's disease and rubella (MMR), chicken pox, hepatitis A and polio.
Sear's book became the vaccination Bible for thousands of parents who visited their pediatricians with it in tow. But it is worth noting that Sears was punished by the California Medical Agency last year after accusing him of relinquishing a 2-year-old from all future vaccinations. He refused to be interviewed for this column.
Imamura, who describes herself as "definitely not an anti-wax," she and her husband "followed Sears to a T." They limited the number of vaccines for their son to a maximum of two per meeting, compared to up to six in the official schedule. And they skipped the shot of chickenpox.
However, she admits: "If there had been an outbreak now, it would have affected my thinking of delaying vaccines."
The ideas that Sears and others have promoted have contributed to the parents' concern that front loading shots could overwhelm their children's immune system or expose them to toxic chemical levels such as mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde.
But scientific evidence supports not that. Infectious disease physicians and public health personnel say that everyday life presents much greater challenges to children's immune systems.
"When you touch another person, crawl around the house, they are exposed to so many things all the time, so these vaccines don't add much to it," says Dr. Pia Pannaraj, an infectious pediatric disease specialist at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital.
The same applies to some of the metals and chemicals included in vaccines, which vaccination suspects blame for autism despite the fact that many studies do not find any link – the latest published earlier in the month.
During the first six months of life, children receive much more aluminum from breast milk and infant composition than from vaccines, says public health experts.
"When you look at babies who have received aluminum-containing vaccines, you cannot even say the level has gone up," says Paul Offit, professor of pediatrician at Children & # 39; s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and head of the Vaccine Education Center Hospital, the same applies to formaldehyde and mercury, he adds.
-invented Merck's RotaTeq rotavirus and CHOP vaccine sold royal rights to it for $ 182 million in 2008. CHOP refused to comment on what Offit's share was.)
Parents who are concerned about mercury, aluminum or other vaccine ingredients should avoid information shared social media, which can be misleading. Instead, check out the Vaccine Education Center on the CHOP website at www.chop.edu by clicking on the "Departments" tab.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provide a detailed summary of the ingredients in each vaccine at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
If your child has a condition you fear may be incompatible with vaccinations, discuss it with your pediatrician . The CDC provides very specific guidelines for who should not receive vaccines, including children who lack immune systems or receive chemotherapy or take certain medications.
If your children are not among them, vaccinate them. It will help to prevent outbreaks and protect those who for medical reasons have not received the shots.
When the parents resist, Pannaraj says that she emphasizes that the potential damage from infections is far more severe than the risks associated with the vaccines. She notes, for example, that the risk of getting encephalitis from measles is about 1000 times greater than from the vaccine.
Side effects still occur. Most are mild, but severe cases – but rare – are not unmatched. To learn about the potential side effects of vaccines, check on the CDC website or discuss it with your pediatrician.
Emily Lawrence Mendoza, 35, says Elsie, after her second child, got her first measles, honey and rubella (MMR) at 12 months of age, she nailed a fever and developed a full body rash that looked like a mild version of the disease.
It took three visits to emergency care before a doctor confirmed that Elsie, now almost 5, could have had a mild reaction to the vaccine. Then Mendoza, Orange, decided Calif. Introducing a more gradual vaccination schedule for their third child.
But Mendoza says that Elsie's side effect made her realize the importance of vaccinations: "What if she had been exposed to a full blown case of measles?"
This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline , a service from the California Health Care Foundation.