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Spacing Out Vaccines: What Happens When You Do It Your Way

Some parents delay recommended vaccinations. (sabianmaggy/Flickr)

Some parents delay recommended vaccinations. (sabianmaggy/Flickr)

Here’s a scenario that should be familiar to parents of very young children.

Your baby is 2 or 4 months old. You’re at the pediatrician’s office for your child’s “well-baby” visit. Everything goes well, the doctor asks about how the baby is eating, sleeping and then, come the vaccines.

At some of these visits, the child may receive shots for five or six different diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a suggested vaccination schedule, and most doctors follow it. Now, for the majority of parents, it’s not a problem. But a growing number of parents are not following the schedule. They’re getting their children vaccinated on alternative schedules, reducing the number of shots their child receives at any one time–or spacing out the number of months between the shots.

But what are the consequences when families deviate from doctor’s recommendations? And why are so many parents doing it?

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