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Vaccines have been a controversial topic over the past decade. Parents are finding it difficult to navigate their way through some very important decisions regarding their child’s health. Many parents find it frustrating when their pediatrician is unable to provide them with helpful information concerning vaccines. And because there is so much conflicting information out there, making a decision can be overwhelming.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend 12 different vaccines throughout childhood. Most of them require numerous doses in order to have full immunity to a particular disease. That means your child receives 34 immunizations by the time they are 6 years old and another 18 by the time they are 18 years old. That’s a total of 52 vaccines!

The Conventional CDC Vaccination Schedule

  • Birth: Hep B
  • 2 Months: Hep B, RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV
  • 4 Months: RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV
  • 6 Months: Hep B, DTaP, Hib, PCV
  • 12 Months: Hib, PCV, IPV, Influenza, MMR, Varicella, Hep A
  • 15 Months: DTaP, Hep A
  • 2–3 years: Influenza (yearly)
  • 4–6 years: DTaP, IPV, MMR, Varicella, Influenza (yearly)
  • 7–10 years: Influenza (yearly)
  • 11–12 years: Tdap, HPV (3 doses), MCV4 (meningitis), Influenza (yearly)
  • 13–18 years: MCV4, Influenza (yearly)

Alternative Vaccination Schedules

In 2011, a study found that more parents are requesting an alternate vaccine schedule for their children. Many pediatricians will now honor the parents request, but if a parent asks their pediatrician for more information about each vaccine, they commonly hear, all the vaccines are safe and necessary. The reason is because most pediatricians don’t have the time to sit down and go through each vaccine with parents or read all the research behind the vaccines.

Dr. Smialek can help you navigate your way through the immunization schedule. She has spent countless hours reading and studying the vaccine controversy. She is able to discuss each recommended vaccine on the CDC schedule with you and provide all the information you need to make the best decision regarding vaccinations for your child. She can answer all of your questions concerning the vaccines and make the idea of vaccinating your child a little less daunting. There isn’t an official alternative immunization schedule, but if you decide to vaccinate your child on an alternative schedule, Dr. Smialek can help you create an individualized program and timetable appropriate for your child.

Homeopathic Vaccinations

Some parents have heard about homeopathic vaccinations as an alternative to the conventional vaccines. Although homeopathic vaccines would work to protect children against diseases in theory, they have not been studied. Therefore, we have no physical evidence that homeopathic vaccinations create an antibody response within the body like a conventional vaccine does.

Book Recommendation

One recommendation for reading is The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears, M.D., FAAP. In the book, Dr. Sears provides detailed information on each vaccine, including the disease it prevents, vaccine ingredients, possible side effects of the vaccines. This book often helps parents understand the vaccines a little bit better.


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