Need info re 9 vs 40 vaccinations

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Need info re 9 vs 40 vaccinations
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 8:46am
I have a six month old whom I have not yet started vaccinating. I intend to selectively vaccinate with her.

My belief is that children today are over vaccinated. I know when my husband and I were growing up in the 70's and 80's we only received about 9 shots versus the 40 or so children receive today and we never encountered any deadly diseases.

My question is, does anyone know which vaccines and how many does were routinely given to children growing up during the mid 70's to early 80's, or where I can find such information? Are there any links or publications that could guide me?

Thanks in advance,


Avatar for suschi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 10:25am
Some comparison info:


02 mo OPV, DTP

04 mo OPV, DTP

06 mo DTP

15 mo MMR

18 mo OPV, DTP

5 yr OPV, DTP

This was the same schedule used in 1984 & 1987 when my oldest two children were born. So just since the 80's, they have added,

Hep B (3 doses)

Hib (4 doses)

Varicella (1 dose, and in the future, will probably change to 2 doses) *****

Prevnar (4 doses)

MMR (additional dose of 3 vaccines combined into one)

and 2 doses of Hep A in certain areas

By 1995, the only additions were Hib and Hep B.

by 1999, Varicella (1 dose) and 3 doses of Rotavirus were added (the latter since recalled)

By 2001, Prevnar was on the recommended schedule, but is now probably being lobbied by the drug maker to get on the mandated requirements for at least daycare/preschool entry (like hib in most states, required for daycare but not for Kindergarten)

2002/2003 saw the addition of infulenza to the schedule, being pushed in some areas beginning at the age of 6 months.

Licensure dates for vaccines

1983 schedule

1995 schedule

1996 schedule

1998 schedule

1999 schedule

2001 schedule

2002 schedule




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 11:35am
Thanks so much. That is very helpful. One question though, what's OPV? Do they still give that today?
Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 12:51pm
OPV is oral polio vaccine - that has since been replaced by IPV the injected polio vaccine.

If you want to know how much burden a vaccination puts on a body, you should look at the number of antigens in a particular vaccine, whether from one virus/bacterium or many. The old DTwP, given in the 70ties and 80ties had close to 3000 different protein bits in it that stimulated the immune system and protected against 3 diseases. The new hexavalent vaccines given in Europe contain only 20 different antigens (protein bits) and protect against 6 diseases. So while the number of diseases that your child will be protected against has gone up considerably, the number of foreign proteins that your child will encounter in the vaccination process has gone down dramatically (and the newer vaccines are tolerated much better, too, my son got the hexavalent vaccine and never had as much as a temperature). Just something to ponder in the middle of anti-vaccination sentiments

Catherina, mother to two fully vaccinated children

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 11:30pm

Catherina, I have asked you this question in the past when you have posted this info (hope you will answer this time ;-) What relevance does the number of antigens in the vaccine have? As some pro vaxers (via Paul Ofitt) like to point out, babies could theoretically respond to more than 10,000 vaccines simultaneously, presumably with nary a hiccup. Now that would be quite a truckload of foreign proteins, at a guess. You seem to be implying here that less antigens equals safer vaccine. Are you? If not, then what is the relevance of this information? BTW the (very dangerous) smallpox vaccine contained 200 antigens, much less than DTwP apparently

Jan (curious as usual)

Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-01-2003 - 4:39am
well, the argument keeps coming up about the 9 vaccines then and the 40 vaccines now and I thought it would be good to put it into the perspective of how many antigens there are in each vaccine and that today's children actually receive only a fraction of the antigens of 20 years ago but protection against many more diseases, which is a good thing.

While I think that Offit is right in saying that an infant's immune system can handle a lot more antigens than are in any vaccine, it is clear that some vaccines are more reactogenic than others. A better small pox vaccine had been developed just before small pox was declared eradicated in the 70ties and it is a scandal that during the 9/11 hysteria, fuelled by a trigger happy US president (sorry, my opinion), the old vaccine was dragged out again.