Immunization is a topic that all parents must sometime face in the lives of their children. Until moving to Germany, the question of whether to immunize or not was never an issue with me - it was just an accepted part of life. Nevertheless, living in Germany, parents will be faced with the issue of which immunizations to give their children when and why, if at all. My advice is to seek out information on both sides of the issue (whether to immunize or not), not only from compentent medical authorities, but also from other sources such as scientific publications, friends with experience and some deep soul-searching with your partner. Once you have made your decision, be sure your pediatrician supports your choice and if not, it might be time to find a new one.
Below is a listing of the officially recommended immunizations of the German Immunization Commission (Empfehlungen der Ständigen Impfkommission--STIKO), January 2000, and when to administer them:
To keep the number of shots at a minimum, check with your pediatrician regarding combination immunizations. You and your pediatrician, however, should sit down together to come up with a personalized immunization schedule for your child. Some things that might influence changes in this standard program are if and how long you are breast feeding, how soon you plan on traveling with your baby, environmental factors and personal preferences.
You should receive a World Health Organization Immunization booklet from your pediatrician, where all your child's immunizations will be recorded, including dates, batch numbers and manufacturers (which are helpful in case of problems with the immunization).
For more detailed information regarding this topic, please visit the following websites: