Four Seasons Pediatrics

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New Study: Splitting Shots of No Benefit

Newsletter 2

August 10th, 2010 – Researchers from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky set out to determine whether children who received vaccines on a delayed schedule demonstrated different neurodevelopmental outcomes than children who were immunized on time. Children in the study were born between 1993 to 1997. They then underwent 42 neuropsychological tests when they were 7 to 10 years of age. Of 1,047 children, 491 were vaccinated on time; 235 were vaccinated with all vaccines but not on time, and 311 did not receive all recommended vaccines.

Results indicated that timely vaccination was associated with better performance on 12 of 42 outcomes. They also demonstrated better verbal skills and had higher IQs. Children who were not immunized on time did not perform better on any outcomes. The researchers wrote “This study provides the strongest clinical outcomes evidence to date that on-time receipt of vaccines during infancy has no adverse effect on neuro-developmental outcomes 7-10 years later. These results offer reassuring information that physicians may use to communicate with parents who are concerned that children receive too many vaccines too soon.

Dr. Miller Comment: There has been a steady significant increase in the number of parents who are delaying and or not vaccinating their children. This movement has continued to pick up steam, without any evidence of benefit and has only been promoted on a theory that there are too many shots given to our children. There are many thoughtful, caring parents who want to do the best for their children, but are paralyzed from making a decision to protect their children earlier. We are seeing rising epidemics of vaccine preventable diseases (Measles, Mumps, Pertussis).   An epidemic of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is currently being monitored in California and South Carolina. The number of cases in California in the past 6 months is higher than that seen in 50 years and has resulted in the death of 6 infants.   This illustrates one example that these diseases are still out there just waiting for the right opportunity to make a comeback.

Each vaccine given, is timed to give the most protection at a critical age to prevent the most devastating infections. Getting more than one shot at a time isn’t a huge physical stress. Their immune systems handle far greater challenges from everyday exposure to germs on shared toys, doorknobs, and the playroom floor. As Dr. Paul Offit explains it: “Think about the bugs that caused your child’s last ear infection. Each single bacterium has 2,000 to 3,000 components that stimulate an immune response from the body. As those bacteria multiply, the challenge to the immune system increases exponentially. Your baby feels awful and likely has a high fever and lots of pain. The body pulls out the stops to fight it off. NOW COMPARE THAT TO THIS: The entire fourteen-shot course of childhood vaccinations contains only about 150 immunological components altogether,” says Dr. Offit. This is about a tenth of the challenge posed by exposure to just one microscopic germ.

What’s more, the bacteria and viruses used in vaccines are either killed or altered, says Martin Myers, M.D., author of “Do Vaccines Cause That?!” There are just enough to induce immunity, but not enough to make someone sick — and certainly not enough to overload the immune system of a healthy child. .

Lastly we want you to consider that coming in to the doctors office to “spread them out” increases your child’s exposure to illness.  Children with mild illnesses ride it out at home. The sicker children are brought to our office to be seen. While this risk is small, why expose your child to more illness or to the illness you may be trying to prevent, by spreading out the shots?  Finally, there is not one controlled study that shows spreading out the shots prevents autism or any other developmental or neurologic problems.  I make an appeal to parents to give each immunization on time.  I firmly believe that this approach is the safest and best protection to provide to your child. (Dr. Miller)

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