April 30, 2018—Kiddos need a lot of routine shots before their second birthday. The current schedule helps protect them (and others too) from more than a dozen diseases. But some parents worry all those vaccines might actually make their children more prone to later infection.
The theory goes that exposure to multiple vaccine substances (called antigens) might overload and weaken a child’s immune system. It’s been around for a while. But this idea now seems “highly unlikely,” a new study in JAMA suggests.
The study found no evidence that getting multiple vaccinations early on made children susceptible to future illnesses, such as ear infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis or gastrointestinal infections. Some kids got infections and some kids didn’t. But their previous level of vaccine exposure didn’t seem to have anything to do with this.
In recent decades, the number of recommended early childhood vaccines has more than tripled. It’s understandable that parents may have questions, the authors noted. But they hope the study’s findings will help reassure those parents about the safety and benefits of fully vaccinating kids on time. And they encourage parents who have questions to talk with their children’s doctors.
Not sure if your kids are due for vaccines? Our infographic can help you sort it out.