Employee & Community Health

Alternative vaccine schedules: Why Mayo Clinic does not offer one

7/20/2017 by Dr. Robert M. Jacobson

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Sticking to a set schedule of vaccines is the most effective way to ensure your child is protected against the most-devastating childhood diseases. That's why Mayo Clinic does not endorse or support alternative schedules. Instead, we follow the schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is the only one studied and scientifically proven to be safe and effective. 

Separating vaccines and spreading them out over time causes real problems: 

  • Increases the pain and distress for your child. 
  • Delays the start of immunity to the disease. 
  • Leaves your child and others at risk for vaccine-preventable disease. 
  • Due to extra visits, the alternative schedule is hard to follow. Most parents find it difficult to keep up. 
  • Prevents some vaccines from being given because the timing is off. 
  • Complicates the vaccination record, which can lead to provider error. 

The schedule is designed to give your child the right vaccinations at the right time for the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. If you have questions, please discuss them with your provider. They will be happy to go over your concerns and help ensure the health and safety of your child. 

Dr. Robert M. Jacobson is a primary care pediatrician in Employee and Community Health's (ECH) Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and is the medical director of the ECH and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Programs.