To Vaccinate or Not? Reasons to Delay or Skip Vaccinating Kids

Prevention is always better than cure. In today’s world, prevention usually comes in the form of a vaccine, which helps people stay away from various serious ailments like measles, tetanus, whooping cough, and even some forms of cancer. As studies prove, vaccines are almost always safe for children. However, there are some situations when it would be better to delay or skip vaccination for your kids. Here are some possible reasons.

Reason # 1 – Severe Allergic Reaction to Previous Vaccine
If your child experienced severe allergic reaction to a prior vaccine, it may be best to avoid it. It’s only very rarely that children have allergic reactions to vaccine but when it does happen, reactions can include hives, difficulty breathing, drop in blood pressure, high fever, headache, and confusion. Common side effects such as redness of shot site and low fever are often confused as allergic reactions but these are common and are not actually allergic reactions.

Reason # 2 – Allergic Reaction to Eggs
Vaccines that fight flu and measles are made with chicken eggs. This type of vaccine can still be given to your child even if he/she has an egg allergy, but ensure that it would be administered in gradually increasing doses. Since many people with egg allergies do not experience reactions to flu shots, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

Reason # 3 – High Fever
High fever can be a good reason to delay vaccination for your child. If your child has a fever of 101 degrees F or higher, it’s imperative to talk to your doctor about delaying the vaccine. Take note, however, that having a fever doesn’t mean your child will be harmed if given a shot, but it would just be more difficult to detect if there is an allergic reaction or a side effect, because the kid already has the fever to begin with.

Reason # 4 – Asthma and other Lung Conditions
If your child has asthma, he/she should immediately get flu shot each year since flu can mean problems with breathing. It’s a must to remember that you should not get your kid the nasal version of the flu vaccine. That is because the nasal version contains live weakened viruses and not dead, unlike with the shot. This can cause asthma attack for anyone who has asthma and other lung conditions.

Reason # 5 – Sick Family Member
Vaccines that contain live weakened viruses should not be given to children who are living with sick family members or those with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy or HIV, because the nasal flu vaccine can be potentially contagious.

Reason # 6 – High-Dose Steroids
It’s best to delay vaccines if your child is taking high-dose corticosteroids, as this can suppress immune function. It’s very important to avoid live-virus vaccines like nasal flu vaccines. If your child has stopped taking the medications, he/she still cannot take the vaccine at least after a couple of weeks.

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