There is a great deal of controversy surrounding regular childhood vaccinations or immunizations.
Unbiased information is almost impossible to find. Some parents are even unaware that they do have options when it comes to vaccines.
You generally have three options regarding vaccinating your child.
- Follow the recommended schedule for all vaccinations.
- Refuse all vaccinations.
- Adopt a modified schedule.
If you choose option 1, your path is simple. Your pediatric care provider will be happy to provide you with a copy of the recommended schedule and help you schedule vaccinations during well-baby visits.
Most states in the United States allow parents to refuse vaccinations on the basis of medical or religious reasons. Some states allow philosophical exemptions.
A medical basis generally involves a previous negative reaction to a vaccine or the presence of a medical condition or disease which is a contraindication to a particular vaccine or all vaccines.
Most schools have vaccination policies; you will have to check your state laws to see if your exemption will be accepted by the school you intended to use for your child. If you are homeschooling, of course, that question is moot.
Surprisingly, option 3 may be the most difficult. Most pediatricians are happiest when you follow the official schedule strictly. If you have reasons for wanting to modify the recommended vaccination schedule, talk with your pediatrician. If they will not accommodate you, you may wish to seek another provider.