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Baby vaccines. starting late and spacing them further apart

(58 Posts)
IlanaK Fri 21-Nov-08 15:31:29

I took ds3 for his first shot today. He is 4 months old exactly. I did not want them earlier as I felt his system was not mature enough to cope. I still have my worries now. The nurse was a bit taken aback as to why he was so old and having only his first one and made comments about"we'd better get started then" and reminded me to bring him back in a month. I plan to have the next one when he is around 6 months and the third when he is around 9 months. Am I wrong in this? Is it likely to cause problems spacing them apart so much? I did not want to discuss any of this with the nurse as I did not feel I would get anything other than the standard line.

Oh, and have sympathy for me this weekend as I also had ds2 pre-school booster today. I crazily thought it made more sense getting it all over and done with in one go, but now am dreading them both being poorly at the same time!

needmorecoffee Fri 21-Nov-08 15:33:28

its up to you. The docs do the early schedule cos thats whan women are still coming to baby clinics so they can 'catch them'. It used to be 6, 9 and 12 months for the DPT.
Mine are unvaccinated.

crokky Fri 21-Nov-08 15:39:59

I am hesitant with vaccines - my kids have had most of them (apart from MMR). Anyway, I was very uncomfortable about my DD not being protected against tetanus and whooping cough when she was very young, especially with a toddler (DS) digging in soil (it was summer!) and attending things where there were lots of young children. For this reason, I didn't delay the baby jabs for her (2/3/4 months) at all. I don't know if you are right or wrong, but that's just how I feel about it. I wouldn't mind delaying some things, but I thought the baby jabs were better done ASAP. I did speak to doctors as both mine were born 3 weeks early (induction, I had complications) and apparently, if a baby is born at, say, 30 weeks of pregnancy, when that baby is 8 weeks old (ie has not even reached his own due date), they still take the line of having the first baby jabs at 8wks.

IlanaK Fri 21-Nov-08 16:14:23

I wonder what the 4 week spacing is based on.

FrannyandZooey Fri 21-Nov-08 16:16:17

Ilana I am doing the same
as I understand it, the early vaccines have all been brought forward and closer together to make sure that mothers get them before they go back to work, and stop going to baby clinics etc
it's about not trusting the parents otherwise

PortAndLemon Fri 21-Nov-08 16:17:16

I've done DD's at 4, 6 and (nearly) 8 months.

IlanaK Fri 21-Nov-08 16:18:42

I am glad I am not the only one. I am not anti vaccines, but with ds3 having a difficult start, I did not want to add anything to his system unnecessarily early.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 21-Nov-08 16:21:58

Fewer vaccinations used to be given further apart.

The 4 week spacing is based on practical concerns of getting as many mothers as possible.

ds2 and ds3 (now aged almost 7 and almost 4) haven't had any jabs at all yet. They'll probably get measles and tetanus jabs eventually. If you tell doctors why you're delaying/not giving them I've found 99% of them to be very understanding. The more junior the doctor the more likely they are to give you grief interestingly.

needmorecoffee Fri 21-Nov-08 16:22:23

tetanus is so unneccasary for a tiny baby and causes a massive drop in immunity for about 2 weeks.
and since when are tiny babies at risk of tetanus.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 21-Nov-08 16:23:46

If you go on the NHS you can't get single tetanus until your child is 10 either hmm which is crap.

FrannyandZooey Fri 21-Nov-08 16:26:01

can anyone give me the name of a good book or preferably website, that i can show dp about vaccines?
he is quite nervy about the fact that we are delaying (relatives with polio)
it needs to be a very down to earth type site

PortAndLemon Fri 21-Nov-08 16:29:11

Richard Halvorsen's The Truth About Vaccines is good (although DH has lost my copy, grrr). Book rather than website, though.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 21-Nov-08 16:32:07

i second that one!

Theochris Fri 21-Nov-08 16:32:17

The schedules aren't just convenience. It's that this is when the vaccines have been tested for effectiveness at vs risk associated with catching stuff at various ages. My child is part of a HPA trial to tweak the schedule and change to a single supplier for each vaccine. She has hers done on a slightly different protocol and has her titres measured for immune response afterwards.

FrannyandZooey Fri 21-Nov-08 17:06:20

thanks - ordered it

Sidge Fri 21-Nov-08 17:29:07

You can't get single tetanus at all jimjams.

After 10 you get the dip/tet combo.

Vaccines are spaced as they are, based on immune responses and 'boosting' the antibody response at just the right time. Apparently approximately 4 weeks after the primary course is the optimum time to boost.

(Guess who had an immunology day yesterday...)

pagwatch Fri 21-Nov-08 17:41:43

yes. I might want tetanus for DD when she hits 10 as school likes it for trips etc but really don't want the other two.

ah well...I will deal with that one when i get there

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 21-Nov-08 17:44:21

oh yes- I don't mind dip/tet

They change their minds about the immune response all the time though - until the intro of MMR the baby jabs were given across the first year. Measles in MMR actually works slightly better at 15 months but is given at 13 months. Hib was meant to be one jab for life (when ds1 had it in 99), is now found to not last 2 years so a booster needed. And so on and so forth.

Whatever they recommend now it will be different in 10 years time.

pagwatch Fri 21-Nov-08 17:44:51


so true

Beachcomber Fri 21-Nov-08 17:48:21

Theochris I'm not sure the schedules are as scientific as all that.

If they were then 2 month olds wouldn't routinely get Hep B here in France.

Also boys wouldn't get rubella and girls wouldn't get it until they are teenagers.

I think the OP is very sensible to space out vaccines and give them later. Currently there are a lot of parents, especially in the US which has a very heavy schedule, who are taking that route.

IlanaK Fri 21-Nov-08 19:15:10

Thanks all. I now have finally managed to get a screaming baby to sleep. He was so obviously clearly in pain/distress from the vaccine he had earlier. I have never seen him like this. He was screaming WITH my breast in his mouth. I can't believe I have to do this another 2 times.

swampster Fri 21-Nov-08 19:28:08

IlanaK, I did pretty much the same as you. My lovely GP was good enough to stick his neck out and say if I was going to postpone any, it should be the later ones as the first gave a great deal of protection. Both my boys were done at around four months. And then not for ages afterwards.

When I took DS2 in for his second load of jabs aged about a year, I had the nurse being REALLY sniffy with me and telling me how irresponsible I was being and how she didn't now know what jabs to give him (just stick to the programme!).

I had to see the GP about something else. She happened to be the sister of a good friend. Cue nice chat. All of a sudden said nurse, seeing I was a friend of the great and good and possibly had made a reasonably informed decision where my sons' vaccinations were concerned (GP wasn't overly bothered, of course) was telling me what wonderful sons I had and practically offering to babysit for me!

I think the main reason the jabs are done so early and so close together is because they know they need to catch you when you are still attending baby clinics etc and they found that spacing them further apart meant fewer babies had the full course.

swampster Fri 21-Nov-08 19:30:30

I have found a dose of Calpol about 20 minutes before the jab can help. And having them in the late afternoon as close to bedtime as possible is a good thing too.

Sidge Fri 21-Nov-08 19:35:00

I agree jimjams, the schedules do seem to change often. According to the immunologist who lectured us yesterday there is a lot of research ongoing into the best times to give them, the immune responses, circulating antigen/antibody levels, priming status etc etc etc.

They don't co-ordinate a nationwide vaccine schedule based on mums attending baby clinics - in many areas baby clinics are run by HVs and immunisations are done by practice nurses at GP surgeries, co-ordinated by child health surveillance, so 2 totally separate entities (in public health terms).

popsycal Fri 21-Nov-08 19:35:05

i am doing similar]
my very honest health visitor told me thetimings are purely tocstch babies before mums gio back to work (6 years ago when i had ds1, smp stopped at 18 weeks)

ds3 will have his first at 3 months then i will be waitinng longer tan a month for thge next one

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