Should I vaccinate my preemie?
The decision to vaccinate your preemie is up to you. However, you would probably like to know a little bit of information on the subject before making up your mind.
If you do decide to vaccinate your preemie when they are two months old it is important to monitor them very carefully because there is an increased risk of them experience respiratory and/or heart side effects. It is generally recommended by doctors to immunize preemies two months after they are born, rather than at two months adjusted age.
Many preemies have underlying medical conditions and injecting them with multiple vaccines at once is really a crapshoot. Nobody knows for sure the outcome and preemies don’t even respond to vaccinations in the same way as older infants. This is to say that they may not develop the same type of immunity.
Several studies have shown that preemies have worse reactions to vaccines within 48 hours than other babies. These include a slow heart rate, cessation of breathing, among others. Many doctors refuse to say these occurrences were a result of the vaccines, however it is an interesting link to be sure.
When it comes down to it you will want to consider whether or not your preemie should be vaccinated. You can always wait until your preemie is older and then begin vaccinations or you could follow an alternative vaccination schedule. In some cases, you may even prefer to skip the vaccinations altogether.
In general, it makes sense to wait until your preemie reaches the adjusted age of other infants before receiving any vaccinations. Even if doctors do not follow this they should. Most preemies are dealing with many other health issues or developmental issues and they don’t need the added stress of multiple vaccines. If you decide you are going to vaccinate anyway, then monitor your child as closely as possible for 48-72 hours.
Remember, it is your decision whether or not to vaccinate your preemie and if you have any qualms about it at all then you should wait until a later time to vaccinate. The older your child the more developed their immune system and the better off they will be dealing with vaccines. It is always the parents’ decision to vaccinate or not so don’t let any doctor tell you otherwise.