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Many of the parents in our family prefer to space out their children’s vaccines more so than what is recommended by the pediatrician. Some of their doctors are in agreement while others refuse to go off of the recommended schedule and it becomes a concern for the parent.
Have any of you had any experience with this type of issue?
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Although I can understand that some parents might prefer to space their kids vaccinations out beyond their doctor or clinic's guidelines, my feeling is that this should be done under the guidance of a medical professional to prevent risking your child's health. Once a child goes to school, whether creche or kindergarten, they will be exposed to many illnesses that can be prevented or minimized by vaccination. Additionally, being vaccinated also provides protection for other kids who may have other illnesses or immune disorders.
Parents should feel comfortable in discussing their concerns around the vaccination schedule with their child's paediatrician, and their doctor should be able to allay their fears or provide them with the information they need to make an informed choice. There is so much information out there, and it can be overwhelming for parents to know which advice is the right advice to follow.
In many countries, vaccination schedules differ and children are sometimes only vaccinated much later due to barriers to access but in most cases, children are sufficiently vaccinated before starting school. In most cases, the vaccine schedule is considered suitable from a personal and community or public health perspective, but parents do need to be empowered to make these decisions after they have been given all the relevant information and had the chance to consider and understand the risks and benefits.
Prior to the pandemic, I was not really confident missing our vaccination schedule and followed it religiously unless there is a valid reason to do so. But during the pandemic, we had no choice but to delay the scheduled vaccines of my kids, especially my 3-year-old who was just around 1-year-old at that time. It was not really our choice but for health reasons, we decided to put everything on-hold, with, of course, the approval of our pediatrician.
With all the delays, we were able to catch up as soon as the health restrictions became less strict. I discussed this with our pediatrician and she told me, there is no problem at all. According to her, there are a specific "window" wherein kids can still be inoculated with a certain vaccine even if their child misses their vaccination schedule.
It is best to discuss this with your pediatrician like I did so you will not worry about missing or rescheduling an inoculation.