If you have autism in the family – don’t do any vaccines.
Pregnancy & birth no vaccines
2 months: Hib, DTaP
3 months: Prevnar
4months: Hib, DTaP
5 months: Prevnar
6 months: Hib, DTaP
7 – 9 months: Prevnar,
1 year: Hib, Prevnar
18 months: DTaP,
3 years: Consider MMR (always give MMR by itself)
4 - 6 years: DTaP, (consider Varicella)
10 years: Tdap (boost every 5 – 10 years)
11 years: Menveo or Menacra (meningococcal), Varicella
12-14 years: Hepatitis B (3 dose series)
16 – 18 Years: Menveo or Menacra & consider meningococcal B
Abbreviations, Brand Choices and Ingredients
Hib. This is the vaccine against Haemophilus influenza type B, which was a leading cause of meningitis prior to this vaccine. Choose the ActHIB brand, which has the HIB sugar with tetanus toxoid, saline and sugar water. The PedVax brand has 225 micrograms aluminum.
DTaP. This vaccine covers Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. The little “a” DTaP stands for “acellular.” Prior to 1990 we used a whole cell DPT in the USA that caused severe side effects including seizures and deaths.
I prefer the Daptacel as the Tripedia brand has some mercury in addition to the aluminum, and the Infarix brand has the most aluminum of all – 625 micrograms. They all contain 100 micrograms of formaldehyde which helps trigger an immune response but can trigger auto-immune issues where your body attacks itself.
Prevnar – 13. This vaccine replaced the Prevnar – 7 by adding more strains of the pneumococcus, the bacteria that is the second leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children. This vaccine has 125 micrograms of aluminum.
MMR. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella are three viral infections that bring fear into the minds of the elderly who lived in the years before these vaccines. This vaccine contains human albumin, cow fetus serum, neomycin and chick embryo proteins. This live-vaccine is also perhaps the most controversial as time and time again (I’ve heard it over 100 times) parents share that it was this vaccine that pushed their previously normal child into autism. Until the large study comparing unvaccinated children with vaccinated children is done – we may not know for certain. My own experience has been that waiting until age 3 significantly reduces the autism rate.
Menveo, Menacra, Meningococcal B (Trumenba, Bexero). Meningococcal disease can cause rapidly fatal meningitis and blood infections. The disease is treatable if you catch it early. Menveo and Menacra both use a very safe technology and have no aluminum. I feel comfortable with these vaccines starting at age 11.
They do not cover type B – enter the new kids on the block: Trumenba and Bexero, which have 500 micrograms and 1500 micrograms of aluminum. To me that dose of aluminum is just too great for comfort.
Hepatitis B. The Hepatitis B vaccines contain 250 micrograms of aluminum per dose. This is simply too much for a newborn. Since you catch Hepatitis B from sex and IV drug use – I would wait until the teenage years for this one.
Varicella. Chicken pox was a right of passage for most of us in our 20’s and older. Deaths were rare indeed (historically less than 50 a year in the entire country). This live virus vaccine appears to be safe for most people. It appears we are having more shingles as a result of the vaccine preventing adults from ongoing exposures that would have boosted immunity. Since chicken pox is highly contagious and can be fatal when immune-compromised people are exposed. This is one vaccine where having herd immunity (community immunity) benefits the most vulnerable, so those of us who can get this vaccine, probably should.
IPV. The Injectable Polio Vaccine (Ipol) has formaldehyde along with a host of other ingredients you probably wouldn’t want to inject (human albumin, calf serum, 2-phenoxyethanol and antibiotics – to name a few). Since the last case of wild polio acquired in the USA was 1979 and it is essentially eliminated from the world – skip it unless you plan to travel to higher risk areas of the world.
HPV. Gardasil and Cervarix. Human Papilloma Virus comes in many strains. The vaccines for HPV have tried to target the strains most associated with cervical cancer in women and genital warts as well in the case of Gardasil. The problem is that these vaccines have large doses of aluminum and safety studies were done with aluminum in the controls – so of course side effects were equal to the vaccines. I’m not convinced the risks are worth it unless you are planning to be very promiscuous.
Rotavirus. RotaTeq and Rotarix. Rotavirus has been blamed for the majority of the vomiting and diarrhea of childhood. The vaccine was marketed to be a money saver as there were so few deaths in the USA from rotavirus illness that they couldn’t justify it any other way. The thing is, we never needed it. The reduced hospitalization rates are likely due to our use of anti-vomiting medications like Zofran (ondansetron) as to anything else. This is one you can skip if you have access to health care and IV fluids in that extremely rare event you needed them.
Flu shots. Influenza. There is no question that influenza has historically been a killer of the weak, elderly and malnourished. As most know, the flu today is just no fun, but if you are otherwise healthy, the flu rarely causes death or even hospitalization. I do recommend this for high-risk individuals. It is difficult to recommend a vaccine that is usually not very effective and has been associated with side effects. Those of us providing health care and around those who are high risk should get the vaccine, to do our part in reducing the chances we will bring the flu to the vulnerable.
Hepatitis A. Unless you are going to a high-risk area for Hepatitis A (which you get from uncooked contaminated food) you can skip this aluminum containing vaccine. The disease of hepatitis A is usually mild in children.
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Dr. Paul Thomas
Dr. Paul Thomas is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. In addition to being board certified in Pediatrics, he is an expert on addiction and board certified in Addiction Medicine. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).
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