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May 25, 2010

Delaying childhood vaccines doesn't benefit a child's development

Parents worried that their babies are getting too many vaccines too soon often opt to space out vaccinations in an alternative schedule. But new research finds that doing so offers no benefit to a child's development.

In fact, delaying vaccines can cause health risks, this WSJ article explains, exposing children to the very illnesses the vaccines are designed to protect against.

The study, appearing online in this week's Pediatrics, analyzed data on more than 1,000 children born between 1993 and 1997. Researchers compared vaccination schedules up to the time they reached a year old, and studied their performance 7 to 10 years later on dozens of neuropsychological tests. Those who got vaccinated at the recommended schedule actually performed better on many of the tests, the researchers found.

While it's true that babies are given more vaccines in their first two years than they were a generation ago, the amount of antigen -- elements of the vaccine that spark the immune response -- have actually decreased, this NPR piece discusses.

Nevertheless, parents are opting for alternative vaccination schedules, or skipping the routine shots entirely. Some 39 percent of parents refused or delayed at least one routine childhood vaccine in 2008, up from 22 percent five years earlier, the CDC found.

The study comes out the same day that the doctor whose research first linked autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was stripped of his license. Dr. Andrew Wakefield's controversial paper from a dozen years ago was retracted by the journal the Lancet earlier this year, after igniting a global panic over claims of a link that has been proven not to exist.

Posted by Kelly Brewington at 7:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Pediatrics


I do believe in vaccines; I just have no faith in the CDC/government suggestions or rules regarding safety.

Only because these "clinical trials' are almost always funded by whomever has a lot of money to gain by the trial being positive. They also are usually VERY SMALL (1000 is NOTHING!) given the huge number of vaccinated children out there from 1993-1997.

There's a lot of health data on our population; due to privacy consderations, it is not available for statistical analysis very readily.

There are more children with autism and ADHD than ever before. The rate of Parkinson's etc, is increasing. Is this from so many vaccinations so close together? LIkely not, but honestly, just because one doctor lied and just because one study says everythign is hunky dory, it surely does not mean that the current status quo is safe.

I wish it did. The number of shots recommended at once is too big of a shock on an immune system, and I think spacing them out makes a lot more sense when the field of medicine is so uncertain and limited in its knowledge of long-term effects of anything.

Look at all the poor folks who got the "perfectly safe in clicinical trials" Lyme vaccine (now discontinued).

And vaccinating for chicken pox is just idiotic. They dont' do it in Europe, and there are veyr very good reasons to not do it. Yet money talks, so the vaccine makers here got it pushed through. But when everyone over 40 has shingles, then maybe they'll change their mind on that one.

Simone, you said you believe in vaccines, but went into the anti-vaccine pro-dead children mantra immediately thereafter.You are deluding yourself.

The Lyme vaccine was discontinued not because of a danger but because it was determined that not enough people at risk for lyme would get the vaccine. Do some real research.

Why would a drug company spend so much money developing and testing a product like lyme vaccine and then stop producing it because "people just arent interested"? Well some people would be. But to totally take it off the market, rather than produce smaller quantities? Maybe there's not any "interest" after learning of the possible side effects.
I think vaccines are good. All at once for a six week old human? Not good. My baby will not be exposed to MMR in her first few months. She won't be riding in a caravan in a third world country before the age of one. There might be an argument here if this bogus study found that there is ACTUALLY a risk to spacing out vaccines. 1000 people, where? What was their income bracket or did they all have medical insurance or not? What was the education level of the parents? Do they rent or own their home? "Neuropsychological" tests on random 7-11 year old children proves nothing about infant vaccines without considering the children's environment. How many of these 1000 kids had a form of autism?
"Actually performed better on many tests" is such an ambiguous phrase it shouldn't even be in print without a proper explanation. What tests? And if the trial was repeated with new children, would the results be the same for the same tests? No, they wouldn't, because this trial (and most trials) has too many uncertanties to be real scientific evidence. That is, in fact, why this whole debate exists. A gastroenterologist was paid to prove someone else's hypothesis on the MMR vaccine. He falsified evidence to prove his theory. At the very least, he kept very disorganized record of his findings. When you are a researcher or doctor, bad record-keeping is the same as lying. And so, his medical license was taken away. Not because he was about to blow the lid off a worldwide conspiracy to needlessly vaccinate children. Because he knowingly violated medical ethics codes for money. There should be a criminal trial next.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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