The spacing out of vaccines is a key differentiator of our practice.
Do we vaccinate? Yes. Do we believe vaccines are an important tool in managing a child’s long-term health? Yes. Do we believe vaccines—not unlike any other tool—must be used appropriately to realize their maximum benefit, and to minimize the risks inherent in their use? Yes. Why, then, is Vibrant Kids Pediatrics unique in regards to vaccines? It goes back to our core vision—every child is unique and should receive healthcare uniquely tailored to their unique needs.
Our experience has taught us it is in the way vaccines are administered that expose patients to the greatest risk. The current “best practice” is to give as many vaccines as possible in the fewest visits as possible. Current medical literature can offer no medical reason for doing so. This practice is driven by fear—fear the child will not return for additional vaccines. Therefore, while the child is in the physician’s office, hit him with as many vaccines as possible—and justify the practice as “parent convenience.” This rush to vaccinate has enormous potential to overload the immune system, thus setting a child up for chronic inflammation—especially in a child with a compromised immune system. It is this inflammation that sets a child up for a whole spectrum of issues from allergies to the regression of motor and verbal development—inflammation triggered by what was essentially a vaccine overdose.
Before we go any further, generally speaking what is a vaccine? It is the disease it is intended to inoculate against. When administered the patient is being exposed to the disease—although a version of the disease that is inert or disabled such that it cannot cause infection. Once exposed, the patient’s immune system begins its work to mount a defense against the invader. Since the disease is inert, the immune system has the necessary time to develop the proper immune response without the body becoming overwhelmed by the disease. In the future should the patient be exposed to the actual disease, the immune system does not waste valuable time developing a response, but instead mounts an immediate response, because it already knows what to do as a result of the prior vaccine exposure.
Generally speaking that is how a vaccine works, and two key points should be understood:
- A healthy immune system is required for a proper immune response to a vaccine, and
- A vaccine is a course of medical treatment, and no medical treatment is without both benefits and risks.
Vaccine use is very polarizing. You have governmental bureaucracies and medical elitists on one end using governmental force to make vaccinations compulsory without exception, and you have on the other end those who see vaccines as bad science and want nothing at all to do with them. There is no middle ground—the middle ground where patients have vaccination options because they have experienced a health setback following a vaccination or have an immune system deficiency that makes a vaccine(s) harmful.
Our vaccine philosophy is rooted in the middle ground—grounded in the reality of what a vaccine is: a medical treatment. Thus, our philosophy put in to practice means a respect for the risk—risk that we minimize by:
- Taking the child’s unique medical history into account when planning a course of vaccine treatment. A vaccine is a medicine, and all medicines have potential allergies and side-effects—all of which must be taken into account before administering a specific vaccine to a specific child. If a child has an allergy to a component(s) in a vaccine we will either (1) not administer the vaccine if the allergy is that severe or (2) take steps to ensure the child’s immune system is in maximum health before administering the vaccine, e.g. boosting vitamin and probiotic use.
- Not vaccinating when sick. A sick child’s immune system is compromised—it’s already at war, aleady battling invaders. Introducing an additional disease(s) for it to battle is counter-productive.
- Spacing the administration of vaccines out. What is the statistical likelihood of you being exposed to a half-dozen major diseases at once? Slim. Therefore, the human immune system is not designed to combat a half-dozen diseases at once. We space vaccinations out in order provide the immune system with the necessary time to both respond to the vaccine and to recover from the exposure. Our experience has taught us that an immune system overreaction, resulting from a rushed vaccination schedule, is often at the root of why a child suffered a significant health setback following a vaccination(s). We spread vaccine administration out, while still having our patients vaccinated within the broad timeline recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Using vaccine titer testing to determine immunity before administering boosters. A titer test empirically proves a child has developed immunity to the disease, thus negating the need for a “booster” vaccine—thereby limiting further risk to the patient by not forcing him into an unnecessary medical treatment. Proving immunity is very beneficial to our patients that have immune system deficiencies or had an adverse reaction to their initial round of vaccines. Proven immunity is recognized by the State of Georgia for many diseases, thus allowing an exemption from a “booster.”