Questions About Altering the Recommended Vaccine Schedule | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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Questions About Altering the Recommended Vaccine Schedule

Alternative immunization schedule

Q. I wanted to use an alternative immunization schedule, and my doctor told me to check your website for information regarding the pros and cons. Can you help?

A. Sure; we have addressed this in a few different places:

Several Q&A sheets about different aspects of vaccines and vaccine safety are available on the Educational Materials page of our website.

Deciding whether to alter the immunization schedule

In this age of choices about everything from which songs are on our personal listening devices to which custom drinks we want at the local coffee shop, we are used to deciding what we want and don’t want for ourselves and our families. This notion has also started to pervade healthcare. For example, some parents now feel they should approach the childhood immunization schedule in an a la carte manner, giving their children only those vaccines that they feel are appropriate.

While this may seem reasonable, sometimes these individual decisions are not based on complete information or follow false logic. If you are considering picking and choosing which vaccines to give your child, please consider the following:

Vaccines are arguably the safest, best-tested products we put into our bodies, so the choice not to get them is a choice to take a different and much more potentially serious risk.

Updated: February 2013

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Immunization Schedule

"Recommended Immunization Schedule: What You Should Know" Q&A sheet:


Vaccine Safety and Your Child Booklet

"Vaccine Safety and Your Child - Separating Fact from Fiction" provides answers to the most common questions parents have about vaccines.