New Evidence of Risk from Delaying Vaccines
Statistics show that by age two, one in eight children were undervaccinated at some point in time due to parental decisions to delay or refuse certain vaccines. Despite the evidence that the infant immunization schedule is safe and well-tested, some parents remain concerned that their child may be receiving too many vaccines at once, or too many at such a young age. “Their bodies are too small to handle it?” they say.
But what if research discovered that a child was better able to handle certain vaccines when they were younger, as opposed to when they got older? What if delaying vaccines actually put children at a greater risk of suffering an adverse reaction to the vaccine?
By taking a closer look at the vaccine safety surveillance data of 850,000 children, 12-23 months of age, that is essentially what researchers have discovered. A recent study, published online in JAMA Pediatrics yesterday, found that the risk of fever and seizure after receipt of measles containing vaccines significantly increased in 16-23 month old children, as compared to 12-16 month old children. Not only does this research suggest that delaying vaccination is not necessarily a safer choice, it also suggests that a more robust immune response in older children, versus younger children, may result in a higher risk of fever and a lower threshold for seizure.
According to a detailed editorial written by Dr. Kristen A. Feemster and Dr. Paul Offit in response to this research, “vaccines are recommended at certain ages and intervals to optimize the immune response, ensure protection when a child is most at risk for disease acquisition, and minimize adverse events.” The editorial goes on to explain that this type of research reinforces the well-established safety and timing of the current schedule, while also providing an example of how vaccine safety surveillance methods can be used to identify outcomes associated with alternative vaccine schedules.
So next time you hear someone say they’re considering delaying vaccinations, share this new information along with the videos below and help encourage them to protect their child be vaccinating according to the recommended schedule.