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The Great Vaccine Debate: Why Some Parents Just Say No

Advice for Those Who Vaccinate

Parents who are concerned about the potential dangers of vaccines, but decide to go ahead with them, can minimize the risk of adverse reactions by following these guidelines:

  • First and foremost, never vaccinate a sick child.
  • Delay vaccinations, if possible, until your child is at least six months old.
  • Opt for single rather than combination shots.
  • Spread out the vaccinations, allowing two months between each shot.
  • If your child has an adverse reaction to a shot, wait one year to vaccinate again.
Parents might also consider skipping some vaccinations altogether. Chickenpox, for example, is usually a mild disease that only lasts about seven days and that represents essentially no long-term health risks. Hepatitis B is a disease spread through sex and drug use, so it is reasonable not to give the vaccination to infants and young children.

The NVIC urges parents to watch for these signs and symptoms of vaccine reactions:

  • High fever (over 103° F)
  • Skin reactions (hives, rashes, swelling)
  • High-pitched screaming
  • Collapse/shock
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Convulsion
  • Brain inflammation (loss of consciousness)
  • Behavior changes
  • Mental/physical regression
Other reported (but rare) vaccine reactions include loss of muscle control, paralysis, regressive autism, asthma, arthritis, blood disorders, diabetes, Guillain Barre syndrome, and sudden death.

Vaccine reactions should be reported to VAERS by calling 1-800-822-7967, and to NVIC's Vaccine Reaction Registry at www.NVIC.org.

Find more information about vaccination.



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