Alternative vaccination schedules

Q: We keep hearing about alternative vaccination schedules. Is there a benefit? 

A: I strongly encourage all patients to stick with the recommend vaccination schedule. The vaccination schedule is developed and evaluated yearly by the top infectious-disease and pediatric experts in the U.S. The recommended timing and spacing of the shots is chosen for when the body’s immune system will work best with the immunization as well as when there’s a need to protect infants and young children at the youngest possible ages. 

Some parents feel that the benefit to an alternative vaccination schedule is that their child will have fewer shots at each visit — and they will.

However, most alternative vaccination schedules often result in children needing more visits to the clinic in addition to routine recommended checkups. 

It also often means that every time infants on these schedules come to the clinic, they have to receive shots, which could result in them becoming even more fearful of the clinic as they’ll begin to only associate it with the pain of the injections. 

Learn more at cdc.gov/vaccines.