It’s no secret that there is a great deal of controversy over whether to vaccinate children and if vaccines can, in fact, cause serious and/or long term health effects. At the heart of the matter are the genuine apprehensions of parents who want to make sound decisions on behalf of their children’s health and future. It is challenging, however, to discern where to draw the line between well-founded data and unsubstantiated fear.
At GetzWell, when it comes to childhood vaccination, we use up-to-date research and thoughtful consultation to help our families plan the best course of action.
We also go to great lengths to help parents understand the helpful role they play in their baby’s immunization response and experience. The following are 5 important ways we can ensure that your baby is vaccinated in the healthiest and safest way possible.
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!
California has officially declared the pertussis or whooping cough outbreak an epidemic. In fact, the golden state is on track to break a 50 year record number of cases, and 5 infants have died this year in California alone. At GetzWell, three of our own patients (all unvaccinated) have had it in the last few months! Fortunately these were not babies and the kids are healthy again, but it was a miserable period of many weeks of uncontrollable coughing. The most common scenario is a mild cold that lasts a few weeks before the coughing begins. If your child has a protracted cold (lasting more than 10 days without improvement) or a cough following a runny nose that’s lasted a couple weeks, call us for an appointment.
This is a 2 part video that highlights GetzWell’s thoughtful, 21st Century approach to childhood vaccination. Dr. Getzelman was a panel member at the Bay Area Home Birth Collective’s annual vaccine talk at San Francisco’s Waldorf School this year and speaks about GetzWell’s unique approach to vaccination.
What does it mean to be a vaccine friendly pediatric practice? While we believe vaccines play a vital role in keeping our patients and communities healthy, we support parents in their right to adopt a vaccination schedule different from the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We recommend that all parents considering an alternative vaccination schedule read The Vaccine Book in addition to understanding the CDC (www.CDC.gov) and AAP (www.AAP.org) recommendations. We encourage an open discussion about vaccines and want to understand and address the concerns of our families. We strive to use and provide sound information as a basis for decision making regarding vaccines and children’s health in general.