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March 2013

The Enigma of Alternative Childhood Immunization Schedules: What Are the Questions?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children's Research Institute (Dr Opel), Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine (Drs Opel and Marcuse), Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, and Seattle Children's Hospital (Dr Marcuse), Seattle.

JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(3):304-305. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.786

Alternative childhood immunization schedules have emerged as a distinct phenomenon in response to parental concerns about the safety of the US immunization schedule and its component vaccines. Some alternative schedules have been put in writing,1 many more are ad hoc, and all endorse a spacing out, a delaying, or a forgoing of at least some vaccines (which is contrary to what is jointly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians). None of these alternative schedules have been tested for their safety and efficacy.

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