Never to late for vaccines

January 6, 2011 2:33:17 PM PST
Doctors say it is never too late to start when it comes to vaccines, even those that are typically given to babies.

Those vaccines include those such as the one for measles, mumps and rubella (otherwise known as MMR).

"The normal schedule is we would give the first one at 1 year of age, and the second one at 4 years of age, but if you're delayed on that vaccine, you can absolutely catch up at any time," Dr. Monika Symms of Tribeca Pediatrics said.

Some of the fear had come from British researcher Andrew Wakefield, who was widely discredited after he linked the MMR vaccine to autism. This week, he was also the subject of an investigative reporter who cross-referenced Wakefield's results and called them "an elaborate fraud."

"I think what Dr. Wakefield did was a moral crime, if not an actual crime," Brian Deer of the British Medical Journal said.

Wakefield went on CNN to vigorously defend himself.

"This is part of a systematic process to prevent valid vaccine research. I'm not gonna go away," he said.

The end result is parents trying not to feel too confused and overwhelmed.

"I think just the fact that there's so much information out there. We're trying to decipher what's credible and what's not," Chris Fuschillo said.

"My immediate concern by far is her health and well being, always," Kim Arth said.

"For some parents, the problem isn't so much the MMR shot as it is just the clustering of all the vaccines together and each doctor will have their own approach to that.

Some approaches are more gradual than others.

"If a child has been vaccinated for other illnesses and is now 2 or 3 years of age, I'll probably remind them pretty strongly that it's time for the m-m-r to be given," Dr. Jerry Clements said.

The ultimate goal is protecting your child from any outbreak and debunking any myths that might get in the way.