Vaccination of an older child who has never received ANY vaccines

by Lucy Gade
(New York)

I have a 17 year old child who has not been immunized to date.
He is now applying for a volunteer position in the hospital setting and is not only required to have certain immunizations as part of this "employment."
As he is also now at greater risk of infectious disease.
We are both prepared to begin vaccinating (to some extend) as he takes his new role.
What are your recommendations for catching up at this point in time that will hopefully minimize his risk of side effects?

This is a good question because as an individual enters the work world there are certain jobs that require shots. First of all, consider the wording of the requirement. Are shots specifically required or is it proof of immunity to the diseases that is required? This is an important question because if it's immunity that is needed then a simple blood test called a titer test can determine whether a person is immune to a variety of diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, hepatitis A and varicella (chickenpox). In her book, "What your doctor may not tell you about children's vaccinations" Dr Stephanie Cave asserts, "to provide proof of immunity, you will need to have a blood test to measure the level of antibodies you have for the specific disease."

You might wonder though, can an acceptable titer level be achieved without vaccination? Yes, a person may develop a positive antibody titer by becoming ill and recovering from the infection or even by being exposed to someone with the infection but without having any symptoms of the disease.

Upon deciding to proceed with vaccination, Dr Stephanie Cave recommends not getting more than four organisms in one day. She also suggests giving vitamin A in the form of cod liver oil at the daily recommended intake for age, as well as vitamin C to help protect against adverse reactions.

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