Should immunizations be postponed if my child is sick?

Should immunizations be postponed if my child is sick?

It depends on how sick your child is. Many doctors suggest postponing vaccinations if your child has a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, the flu, or other serious infection. If she has a mild cold, there's no medical reason to delay a vaccination. She may be fussy or have a harder time tolerating any reaction if she isn't feeling great, however.

Timing is important. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children with moderate or severe illnesses, with or without fever, can be vaccinated as soon as they're no longer acutely ill. Talk to your doctor and find out what his policy is, so you'll know whether you should cancel an appointment. Keep in mind that the sooner your child has her vaccines, the sooner she’ll be protected.

When you schedule vaccines that can cause a mild reaction, such as the DTaP or the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), take into account that your child might feel poorly for a few days (up to a week later in the case of MMR) after getting the shot. Don't schedule these vaccines right before a vacation, trip, or other important event.

There are a few other instances in which experts say it's wise to delay vaccinations. Steroids can weaken a person's immune response. So a child who has taken high doses of oral steroids (for asthma or poison ivy, for example) for more than two weeks should wait at least one month before receiving a live, weakened vaccine, such as the MMR or chicken pox.

Children with leukemia, lymphoma, other types of cancers, or AIDS, as well as kids whose immune systems are severely compromised, shouldn't receive any of the live, weakened vaccines. These vaccines pose no threat under normal circumstances, but an immune system undermined by a serious disease or suppressed by chemotherapy may not be able to fight off the "little infection" these vaccines produce.

Children with a low platelet count or other bleeding problems should not receive any injectable vaccines (shots.)

Children with severe egg allergy should consult with their allergist before receiving MMR or flu vaccine.

The population of children who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons offers another compelling reason for making sure your child's vaccines are up-to-date. The concept is called "herd immunity." The idea is that if most people in a community are vaccinated, diseases become less common, and those who can't be vaccinated are less likely to be exposed.

Watch the video: Why Do Babies Get So Many Vaccines? (January 2022).

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