Parents often ask if they should premedicate their baby before immunization in order to prevent fever and discomfort that’s associated with the shots. In fact, a study published last year in The Lancet suggested that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) blunts the immune system’s response to the vaccines. At GetzWell, where we often vaccinate children on a staggered schedule (fewer vaccines per appointment) and strongly discourage premedication, we rarely see post-vaccine fevers or pain. Additionally, an Italian study involving 450 babies (published in Pediatrics in May 2010), showed that half as many infants who were exclusively breastfed developed post-vaccine fevers compared to babies who weren’t breastfed at all. Yet another reason to support breastfeeding whenever possible!
Since its inception, San Francisco’s GetzWell Pediatrics has sought to redefine the field of pediatric medicine by providing customized health care for children and families. Some wonder why GetzWell is structured as a ‘fee-for-service’ or ‘direct pay’ practice rather than one that contracts with insurance companies. The reason is that GetzWell’s 21st century integrative approach to health care is fundamentally at odds with the traditional insurance-based medical model.