Source: Wall Street Journal | Page: A6
By: Wang, Shirley S.
The currently recommended U.S. vaccine schedule for young children does not appear to cause health problems, according to an advisory committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The government-advisory body also said that parents’ concerns about the schedule should continue to be heard. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two dozen vaccines for children before age two years, and up to five vaccines at once in a doctor visit. Some parents, concerned that so many vaccines could overwhelm babies’ immune systems, have chosen to use alternative schedules by spreading out the doses or avoiding some immunizations. “Delaying vaccination is related to increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said committee member Pauline Thomas, a professor in the department of preventive medicine and community health at New Jersey Medical School, in a conference call about the report. The IOM committee examined the research available on vaccine schedules and found no evidence for deviating from the recommended schedule. The group also recommended that the National Vaccine Program Office systematically collect reports of vaccine schedule-related problems from doctors and parents.