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Keeping Kid’s Vaccines on Schedule: April 9, 2014

If you work hard to keep your children on time, you’ve got company. Your pediatrician, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, would like kids to stay on schedule with their vaccinations.

“When the AAP made the schedule, they didn’t just choose which shots should go where. They looked at when the child is at most risk for that disease,” says Lee Memorial Health System pediatrician Dr. Denise Drago.

Recent years have seen more parents engage in shot-limiting or delaying immunizations. At the same time, the number of vaccine-preventable diseases have gone up.

“We see a lot more chickenpox than we used to. People aren’t doing the chickenpox vaccine. Especially overseas, they’ve had a lot of people not doing the measles vaccine and they’ve seen a large increase in the amount of measles,” says Dr. Drago.

As the vaccine schedule has evolved, several shots are grouped together. They are tested and approved to be given that way. It means children get ‘poked’ fewer times. Now new research shows an even bigger benefit: strengthening your child against infections.

A study published in the American Journal of Pediatrics showed use of the MMR vaccine not only protects against measles, mumps and rubella, but children who are immunized on schedule are less likely to end up in the hospital with any type of infection - especially respiratory ones.

“Parents need to be more aware of what shots they did get and what shots they didn’t. That’s very different if they get a fever and end up in the emergency room then a child who got all of their shots. So you are putting your child at additional harm by not vaccinating against those things at one time.”

It’s believed the grouped shots may have a general immunizing effect.  The latest findings giving the vaccine schedule a much-needed shot in the arm