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How much flexibility is there in a child's vaccination schedule?

Thomas Jacob, MD
Pediatrics
The vaccine schedule as it is presently established is based on providing protection to the population most vulnerable to these infections. Alternate vaccine schedules decrease immunization rates, and increase the chances of babies acquiring vaccine-preventable diseases, which have a higher rate of mortality in this age group. It also leads to an increased number of office visits, and can further weaken herd immunity, which many of the alternate schedules rely upon to protect children until they actually receive vaccinations. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you can identify your child as low-risk for certain diseases, you can be more flexible in terms of timing those vaccines. However, that may not be so easy to do, unless you and your child live without much contact with the outside world. The current schedule is based on getting the most protection when babies are particularly vulnerable. For example, pertussis is most deadly during the earliest months of life. On the other hand, if you, your partner, and your child's caregivers are not carriers of hepatitis B, we recommend waiting to give this vaccination until two months of age or later (if your child has not already started to receive this series of shots). Do note that varying from the recommended schedule places the burden of record keeping on you, but if you're up to the task, it may work well (and may even be safer) for Junior.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.