To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate


While we were at the pediatrician’s for Frances’ six month checkup, I was surprised to hear from the nurse that we’re the only patients on Dr. Sears’ alternative vaccination schedule. Although we don’t live in a metropolis, I would have thought there would be at least one other child on an alternative plan.

Since we’ve been in to see the nurse twice as often as most, she was curious about our choice. She asked about our reasons for choosing an alternate schedule, and my knee-jerk answer was “why not?”. The nurse said she liked the fact that the shots, two at the most, were over so quickly Frances hardly noticed them. Even the gals in reception have said, “your baby never cries for shots! She must be so brave.” Well, they’re over so quickly she doesn’t know what hit her. She’s never had a fever after vaccinations and, I will admit, I enjoy twice as many days where she takes extra long naps!

When I started to think about it, I realized that I don’t know anyone in town that is on an alternative schedule. But I do know quite a few moms that don’t vaccinate at all.  I suppose it is an all-or-nothing sort of town.

Did you decide to vaccinate your child? Did you consider an alternative vaccination schedule? If so, what were your reasons?


  1. I chose to go with an alternative schedule after my daughter had what looked like a seizure, but was really a holding breath spell after her shots. She was given 4 as an infant. The nurses had no idea what was going on, my child rolled her eyes back into her head, stopped breathing, arched her back and passed out.

    She gets vaccinated for the types of diseases that will either harm or maim her. I always get weird looks at the doctor’s office because they always pressure the flu vaccine and whooping cough. Regardless of what happened to her then, it’s too much on a infant’s immune system because they don’t really have one. At least when I explain the story people hold their tongues if they disagree with me. Her school is aware of her vaccination schedule and is understanding. However, I agree, it seems that most people tend to be all or nothing when it comes to vaccination.

    We really extended out the time-frame in the vaccinations because of her severe reaction. She should have the vaccines completed in about 12-18 months.

  2. I have an autoimmune disease that I acquired shortly after a round of shots; my family also has a history of autoimmune disease, so I’m not taking chances with my kids. No vaccines for them. When they are adults, they’re welcome to choose to be vaccinated if they want to be.

  3. I did the Dr. Sears schedule with my kids when they were babies. They also both contracted chicken pox on their own so we didn’t get that shot. We have a good pediatrician now who also helps us figure out which shots are important to have at which times of the year. We have never had any problems with any of the vaccines.

  4. Oh and they have never had a flu shot either.

  5. Michele, this is a great post! I don’t have kids, but I am curious about vaccinations anyway. There is lots of talk about vaccinations in the community of people who have immune disorders. What made you decide on an alternate schedule? Why do people in your town decide to forgo vaccinations altogether?

  6. Gina, we decided on an alternative schedule because it seemed like a good idea not to overload Frances’ immune system with so many vaccines at once. We liked the idea of letting her body process fewer shots more often.

    Since we don’t have a history of auto-immune disorders in the family, we weren’t worried about her getting vaccines. A lot of parents are very concerned about that. They believe that the heavy metals (which aren’t even used anymore) trigger latent disorders. Plus they are worried about all the other toxins that are in them.

    Other parents believe that vaccinations offer false security and that you don’t actually develop an immunity to the diseases. They think you are more susceptible to a disease if you’ve been immunized.

    I think Kari has a great point that her kids can get vaccinated as adults if they want. Since I had to be up-to-date on all my vaccines in order to study abroad, I wanted Frances to be equally prepared. It was the right choice for our family.

  7. We also use the Dr. Sears schedule for the same reason as Michele. I’ll admit, I was concerned about if I had done the right thing when my 16-m.o. daughter started exhibiting signs of a potential measles infection (turned out to be Roseola) as the MMR shot is delayed in the Sears schedule, but between 12-18 months in the CDC schedule. I know that I’m opening my daughter up to increased chances of infection and relying on herd immunity to protect her until she is caught up. It’s a subject that I am definitely conflicted over – immunize and protect everyone or delay and protect my daughter.

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