Children do not receive any known health or medical benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines. Vaccines are arguably the safest, best-tested products we put into our bodies, so the choice not to get them or to delay them is a choice to take a different and much more potentially serious risk.

Infants and young children who do not follow the recommended immunization schedules and instead spread out shots—or leave out shots—are at risk of developing diseases during the time that the shots are delayed. This results in more frequent visits to the doctor’s office, more stress and anticipation of shots and increased costs for you.

There is no evidence that delaying or spreading out vaccines is any safer than simply following the recommended schedule set by the CDC. There is plenty of evidence that the recommended immunization schedule is safe and effective, as the timing of vaccines given has been carefully tested, studied and reviewed prior to being recommended for children.

If your child falls behind the recommended schedule, you can talk to your child’s doctor about catching them up, reducing the amount of time the child is left exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Parents who are concerned about the number of shots given at one time can reduce the number given at a visit by using the flexibility built into the current recommended immunization schedule. For example, the third dose of Hepatitis B vaccine can be given at 6 through 18 months of age. Parents can work with their child’s health care professional to have their child receive this dose at any time during this recommended age range. But remember, by vaccinating your child at the earliest recommended age, they are protected earlier in life. The longer you wait to give a dose, the longer your child goes not fully protected.

Learn more about why you should use the recommended schedule  and how it is developed.

Sources:
CDC: The Childhood Immunization Schedule
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Altering the Schedule