It's Safe to Follow the Vaccine Schedule for Babies. Here's Why. | 9/22/2019 | Chia-Yi Hou - Live Science Contributor
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An increasing number of parents are concerned about vaccinating their children, questioning doctors about the necessity and safety of following the immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, decades of studies have demonstrated that vaccines are safe and that administering vaccines according to CDC guidelines is critical for building immunity in young bodies, experts told Live Science.

Parents worried about vaccines tend to ask similar questions, said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a physician in pediatric and adolescent medicine with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. They want to know if it's more painful to get three or four shots at once, if the baby's immune system can tolerate multiple vaccines, and what might happen if the vaccines are delayed.

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"Other issues are distrust in the health system [and] the government," said Heidi Larson, an anthropologist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, which studies people's views on immunization.

These fears may prompt parents to eliminate or delay vaccinations, but such a course can jeopardize an infant's health and raise their risk of contracting a preventable and potentially life-threatening disease, according to the CDC.

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Related: Can You Still Get the Measles If You've Been Vaccinated?

Is it really more painful for babies to get multiple shots in one visit? No — on the contrary, studies have found that infants experience more pain when distressing medical procedures are spread out over several days, compared to when multiple procedures are performed on the same day, Jacobson said.

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In newborns exposed to multiple heel lances — blood collection through puncture — over the course of several days, the drawn-out, painful interventions heightened anxiety and anticipation of pain, researchers reported in 2002 in the journal JAMA.Those babies "learned to anticipate pain and exhibited...
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