Are combination vaccines safe?
Does the idea of combining multiple vaccines into one make you uncomfortable?
- allows incorporation of new vaccines into immunization schedules (sell more)
- reduced administration and storage costs
- higher rates of compliance with complex vaccination schedules (sell more)
Clearly, none of these are patient benefits.
The authors even go so far to state that safety is not a benefit; in fact, it is the main challenge because it is safer to administer the vaccines separately.
A personal example: ten years ago, while discussing possibly spacing out of individual vaccines, our strongly pro-vaccine pediatrician told us that the practice discontinued use of a combination vaccine (MMR + chicken pox) because it was causing many more high fevers and febrile seizures than the administration of those two vaccines separately.
Ominously, the 2011 paper closes with an accurate prediction: "Continuing vaccine development will only increase the need for the use of combination vaccines, and the future development of larger combinations appears inevitable." Just last month (December 2018), the FDA approved the very first 6-in-1 combination vaccine for babies.
What can you do about this?
Step 1 - Decide if using combination vaccines is for you. Use VaxCalc to inspect the combination vaccine ingredients and easily compare them to the individual vaccine ingredients. Frequently, the amounts are similar; but not always. VaxCalc makes it easy to do this comparison.
Step 2 - Decide if the advantages of individual shots are for you:
- Choose the vaccine brand with the least amount of objectionable ingredients
- If your child experiences side effects after getting a combination vaccine, you won't know which component vaccine was responsible; individual shots provide greater observation, monitoring and control
- Individual vaccines let you create your own custom schedule (you might not view every disease as equally dangerous, might choose natural immunity over temporary vaccine-induced immunity, or might decline lifestyle vaccines such as Hep-B and HPV)
Step 3 - Call your doctor and ask for the brand names of the vaccines being offered
Step 4 - Use VaxCalc to easily compare the vaccines your doctor is offering with the brands they are not; you might discover that you prefer a different brand. For example, by choosing one DTaP brand over another, you can reduce the amount of aluminum by almost half.
Step 5 - If your doctor does not carry what you want - request your preferred brand, and don't take no for an answer. This is no different than grocery shopping and rejecting certain brands because of the ingredients listed on the label. It's time for doctors to understand this.
VaxCalc subscribers are never alone; we are here to help. Just recently, a Freedom Plan subscriber wrote that "the personal attention given to me every time I send a message to the VaxCalc support team is unbelievable, very thorough. Thank you!"
A Profile in Courage
This courageous doctor, the Distinguished Scholar in Cardiovascular Science at Baylor University Medical Center, was on a committee advising the FDA if a new Hepatitis B vaccine is safe. After carefully examining the data, he abstained (did not cast a vote yes or no). And then he wrote an article to share with the public why: "There is a simple rule in life: if you don’t know, you should say you don’t know."
Regardless of his concerns about safety, and even though two others joined him in abstaining, the FDA approved the new Hep-B vaccine. (The vaccine is included in VaxCalc, and his concerns are noted.)
VaxCalc and You!
YOU are the expert on what is best for your family. VaxCalc empowers you with information and research that is not available anywhere else so that you can make informed vaccination decisions.
Please share this with friends and family who are committed to making their own informed vaccination decisions.