Several years ago, we addressed the immunization schedule published by Dr. Bob Sears. Since that time, we have heard of other physicians who also published or publically shared their own versions of the recommended immunization schedule. Most often, the impact of these physicians’ schedules is felt locally by other providers who get questions or public health officials trying to keep their communities healthy. In these situations we have worked with the individuals who reached out to us without publishing additional analyses of alternative schedules.
These alternative schedules tend to gain popularity in certain geographic areas because they seemingly address and “validate” the concerns of parents. Unfortunately, they provide a false sense of security and are typically based on ideas that have been scientifically disproven, such as concerns about autism, the number of vaccines as well as vaccine ingredients, like aluminum and mercury. We have addressed each of these topics in patient-friendly materials that can be shared with parents and families (see resources list below). We have also published resources explaining why the schedule is organized the way it is and how to evaluate information.
Now, we have added a new Q&A sheet to specifically address these physicians and why parents should approach their schedules with caution. The new sheet, “When Individual Doctors Make Their Own Immunization Schedules,” addresses the following considerations:
- Schedules made by an individual versus a group of experts
- What a provider showing disregard for scientific consensus about vaccines might indicate about his or her approach to other topics
- A series of common misleading statements related to the immunization schedule that should cause concern about the individual’s expertise
We hope you find this and our existing materials to be useful as you address the concerns of parents and families related to vaccines. If you are getting questions that you do not see addressed, feel free to reach out via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vaccine Education Center materials can be photocopied for easy distribution. Many are also available for order if you prefer to keep printed versions in stock.