We are that family. Not the one who wants to undermine medical advice and get everyone in our community sick. Just the one who believes that using our God-given parental instincts is more important than what medical professionals or well-meaning people in our community think of us.
We’ve decided to use an alternate vaccination schedule for our children. They will receive all of the recommended vaccinations, just at different times. Our primary reasoning for this is to prevent the accidental overloading of their little immune systems. Oftentimes I witness parents who have to nurse their children back to health after receiving upwards of six vaccinations at a time.
We also believe that if allergic reactions or other complications occur, we’ll be able to pinpoint the cause more easily since we’re only working with one or two vaccinations per visit.
I think about one very recent scenario when we could’ve followed the recommended schedule and chose not to…
Our now 7 month old went in for her 2 month checkup (the one where they get five or six vaccines at a time) and my 2 year old had a runny nose but we didn’t notice any visible symptoms in anyone else. When offered the opportunity to get those shots for her, we politely declined. I’m SO glad that we did because the very next day, she had a runny nose, was slightly congested and had a raised temperature. Imagine if we had given her shots on top of her already having a cold…. You got it! We would’ve had one sick baby and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it because she was much too young for medicine.
I’m aware that many moms are too busy to use an alternate schedule and I get that. Many of you have to work and can’t take your child back and forth to the doctor once every couple of months. And even more of you have children who need an up to date shot record to attend daycare or school. If you fit into one of those categories, feel free to disregard what I’m saying. However, if you have the time or can work the scheduling part out, please consider this!
Tips for using an alternate schedule:
- Draft a predetermined schedule. Look at the CDC’s recommendation and other resources to determine the best fit for your family.
2. Check with your insurance company to view their policies on alternate schedules. Our main question was will they pay for our increased frequency of visits? Thankfully, they said yes. Our previous insurance company paid for vaccinations but we were responsible for the additional doctor’s visits. The price never exceeded around $30 per visit though.
3. Check with or find a doctor’s office that allows you to use an alternate schedule. Our office doesn’t recommend it but they still allow us to use one. They actually just started making all of the parents sign a consent form. Of course I noted that we are using an alternate schedule and scratched out anything that I didn’t agree with. (See below)
4. Stick to your schedule but allow room for a little flexibility. I usually go by our plan but if anyone in the family is sick I’ll happily reschedule.
5. Be confident in your decision. Discuss your plan with your spouse and just like anything else, be on the same page and have each other’s back. Trust me, you’ll need it! Some doctors are very pushy and will try to persuade and scare you into changing your mind.