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Delaying the routine vaccs until 2 years old(18 Posts)
For various reasons often discussed on here, my DH and I have not given any of the vaccinations to our DS. We both felt that there wasn't a right choice with this, that whatever we decided to do we would never feel entirely comfortable about.
Our DS is now 2 and I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable with our decision and feel we should get them all done (not talking about MMR yet) but my DH still feels very strongly that we have been right to not vaccinate.
So what I would like to know is whether any of you have experience/knowledge of getting the vaccines done at this late stage?
Also, is there an increased risk of side effects? Or because their immune systems are more developed are they more likely to NOT get any side effects?
I will apologise in advance if I don't respond to posts quickly - my time on here is limited and sporadic! I will be on whenever I can be though. Thank you very much for any help you can provide.
the highest risk is that a two year old will be much more aware of being poked multiple times than an infant. The highest benefit of delaying vaccination is that you would need fewer shots to get "fully" protected, because the more mature immune system is much better in making antibodies after shots. So this is the "normal" schedule:
At age two, you could do
3x DTaP/IPV/hib (not sure whether you can get a DTaP/IPV in the UK, because he would really only need one Hib, otherwise, if you go with this combo do) 2 shots 2 months apart, a third one 6 to 8 months after the second. That should hold (there is no literature on starting to vaccinate at age 2 years, but extrapolating from what is in the literature about various vaccination schedules for younger kids) until he is well in school (so about 4 years after the third shot).
1xPCV (if you want to do the PCV at all. The highest risk is really before the second birthday for kids with older siblings who are in daycare and not breastfed - I did not "catch up" my son when PCV was introduced, but you may consider it if you are having/planning another baby, just to protect him/her from older brother dragging pneumococci into the house).
You could talk about Meningitis with your health visitor - I think one shot should be enough at his age, but not sure about UK vaccines.
You can do MMR any time, whenever you feel confident enough to do that.
Cannot help you with your discussion with your husband, but it obviously would be better if you were in agreement and confident about what you do.
If it's any use to you, DS had his first PCV but because it was the only jab he had that caused a reaction, I didn't give him the second - as your DS is already 2, the PCV may be unnecessary, as Catherina has said.
DS is nearly 4 and coming up to the time when he should have his second MMR, but he hasn't had the first yet. I may yet delay the first one until he is ready to start school at 5. In Australia they routinely give chickenpox vaccine at 18m as well - he hasn't had that either as we arrived here when he was 20mo and of course it's not a routine part of the UK schedule yet. I still haven't decided whether or not to get that shot for him - I'd prefer not, tbh.
The schools prefer all children to be fully vaccinated but can't force the issue; but if there is an outbreak of any of the diseases against which he is NOT vaccinated, he will be excluded from day care/school. Anyway - that's irrelevant to you, sorry.
Hope you and your DH can come to a mutual decision on the vaccinations.
My DSS was vaccinated at a late stage - he had started school. There were no problems with getting them done, and he had no adverse reactions.
It is so hard when parents can't agree - keep talking, though - is he anti all vaccs or just some?
Our third child was vaccinated very late. No problems, no reactions. She has been MUCH healthier than her vaccinated siblings-- no antibiotics, no ear infections.
I'm sure your GP would happy to discuss this with you. Personally I think you should get your child vaccinated against tetanus and the forms of meningitis that the schedule covers. Why does your dh feel those illnesses are not a risk to your son?
Thank you all so much for your replies, I'm sorry for the late response.
CatherinaJTV Yes, unfortunately he will be aware of all the jabs, this is another aspect I feel guilty about! It's interesting what you say about needing fewer jabs, as when we recently discussed the matter with the nurses at our gp surgery they said they would follow the same schedule as if he were having them at the right time. I got the feeling though that this was because they hadn't dealt with someone having them so late and therefore didn't know for sure. I will definitely raise the matter with his pediatrician, who we see for his allergies, and ask if he could find out for us. Thank you.
Thzumbazombiewitch That's the one thing that I am sure about - that I don't agree with the Chickenpox vaccine! I don't think your comment about the school is irrelevant though, as this is something I hadn't factored in the decision but now think I need to. If the schools have a policy on non-vaccinated children then it is certainly something we need to consider. Thank you.
balia Thank you, that's good to know. He's pretty much anti all vaccines, to the point of paranoia I'm beginning to believe, and so I think he's virtually unable to rethink this matter logically.... We are continuing to talk though, it's just a long process right now.
snailoon Again, thank you, that's good to know. Apart from his allergies DS has been a very healthy boy too.
Northernlurker I have raised the matter with a couple of GP's at our practice but they seem unable to 'discuss' it. All we get is the response that 'he should have his vaccinations, they are perfectly safe'. (Although I think we've been lucky to not have been chased or pressured in any way, as appears to be quite common in other areas.) I will definitely raise this with his pediatrician now though. Tetanus and meningitis are exactly the ones I'm concerned about. If I could get separates for these I would have had them done by now. DH agrees that they are a legitimate risk but in his head the other risks outweigh them. I know, there's no logic to that....
Thanks again everyone x
Tinfoilhat, there's a link on this thread to a place in London where you can get tetanus as a separate jab. Go to page 9, a link provided by Saintlyjimjams.
tinfoilhat - I don't know if schools in the UK do have any police re. non-vaccinated children but yes, it's definitely worth checking. Good luck with it, and finding someone who will discuss the whole issue with you sensibly.
Your paediatrician may be one such person - my friend didn't give her DS the MMR because he was high risk for various problems that have been associated with adverse effects - so she delayed it until he was 4ish, or possibly nearly 5 (just pre-school). She discussed it all with his paediatrician, who agreed that she had done the right thing with his family history - so there ARE doctors who will listen to your issues and discuss them without just brushing your concerns aside - you just need to find one.
is there somewhere you can get an individual meningitus jab from?
we got one at the GPs, since we moved to the UK when DD and DS were past their baby shots.
In your situation I would research the diseases and the jabs and then create a schedule that suited you. As long as you don't want more than the NHS schedule, your GP has to comply with your wishes and do the schedule of your choosing.
If I was in your situation I would choose to give single jabs where possible, spaced apart, and then test for immunity before giving boosters. The boosters may not be necessary as your LO's immune system is more developed and is now at a stage where it creates 'memory cells', so will give a better response to the vaccines.
Our DD has had her own schedule of jabs, spaced out and given singly where possible, and we haven't given certain jabs. We will be taking her to get her immune response to the vaccines checked rather than giving her a booster which are only given to mop up the small percentage of children who haven't responded to the original vaccinations.
Very interesting and useful thread. DS is nearly 8 months and i too wish to delay his vaccs until he is one. Not an easy decision at all. Our gp surgery threatened to kick him off the patient list.
My main worry is meningitis. Apart from men c, is hib the other vacc to protect against meningitis?
Sh77 - yes it is
Leonie - that's interesting - how has your DD's autism progressed? And has your DD2 any sign of it?
We were a little late, by a few months for each shot. And didn't take up any 'optional' ones, like the BCG, which was optional where we live.
We had no problems with any of them. Even MMR. I had an MRR with DD because the doctor said I needed a rubella shot and wouldn't give it to me as a single. DD and I had the same shot and absolutely no side effects. She is a healthy child now (age 7).
I would say to keep researching until you feel happy with your decision.
sh77 - Prevenar 13 is the other jab, apart from MenC which protects against some forms of bacterial meningitis. This can be given as a single shot. The doctor I discussed vaccinations with said this was even more important than the measles jab, and if a parent was only going to do one vaccination, to do this one. It can help prevent a form of meningitis that kills 1000 under 18s in this country each year - far more than are affected by measles.
Please do remember that it doesn't protect against ALL meningitis so you still need to be aware and watch out for symptoms if your LO falls ill. I know there is a worry amongst some health professionals that some parents may presume that their children are protected against all meningitis and leave it too late to get medical attention.
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