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Tip for 1st Time Parents -- 1st Year Vaccines

I am taking the time to write this JUST IN CASE I can help at least ONE family not have to pay what we did during our baby's first year of life.  In some respects, I almost feel like the medical field preys upon the fears of first-time parents in order to squeeze an extra $2500+ post-birth out of parents who don't know any better.  Now, I'm sure this isn't true, but still...I wish we would have known then what we know now...

When it comes time to get vaccines for your child, you DON'T have to pay the exorbitant fees that your doctor's office will charge you.  If your insurance doesn't cover vaccines (like ours didn't), then you do have the option of going to your community health center for a MUCH lower price for what will probably be the same vaccines.

For example, we paid anywhere from $100 to $200 PER SHOT for my daughter's vaccines.  After I had had time to recover from giving birth and moving to China, I called around to ask about this and found out that I could have gotten the EXACT SAME VACCINES for only $12 per shot at our Community Health Center.  I am not even kidding.  Seriously, how does that even make any sense?

The problem is that I never dreamed I had other options, and my doctor's office sure didn't share that information with me.  So...I am sharing it with you.  I hope you're smarter than I was and that you already knew this, but just in case...find out what vaccines your baby needs for his/her first year of life and then call around before taking him/her in.  You could just save yourself $2000 or more!

So...I'm curious.  What were your experiences with vaccinations for your child/children?  I know some don't even get them.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Category: 8 comments


Shairbearg said...

We've gotten all of the shots for all my boys. Well Justin has only gotten a few so far. But we don't have to pay for them, the beauty of universal health care. I know I got 1 for the chicken pox shot for myself and it wasn't covered and cost me $75 and I nearly fainted! I can't imagine having to pay for all my boys shots!

Michele said...

I have insurance through Kaiser, which covers all the vaccinations, so I can't speak to the cost. But what I will say is that you as a parent have control over the situation. I spread the shots out more than they prescribed. I just didn't see the need to give my daughter five shots at one time. So she got the three that she had had before (the second dose) and then I took her back a month later for the two new ones. I also waited a full year for the chicken pox vaccine because I was pregnant and I have never had the chicken pox and couldn't get the vaccine myself. Like you said, it's a matter of asking questions or doing your own research.

Rachel H said...

We decided to wait until my daughter turned 2. Our decision came from the fact that I was a stay-at-home, breastfeeding mom. Plus, I grew up in a community where it isn't uncommon that kids aren't vaccinated. (I was only partially vaccinated and my brother wasn't ever given shots.) Thus, I already knew alot, read alot more, and loved the site by Jenny McCarthy at

I bring it up because your right. First time parents are scared into alot of things. And if its not in costs, its in guilt. I do think that children should be vaccinated, but not in the one-size-fits all mandate that currently exists. I really think by customizing it to where a child recieves vaccines as thier bodies can actually handle the toxins/preservatives that it would greatly reduce the side effects blamed on vaccines.
We chose a different path and are now selecting the vaccines to get our daughter started on. Its good to be reminded of the CMH clincs, they may also have a wider selection or brands for parents to specifically choose. You wouldn't believe what they culture these things in! Will definately give them a call and see how they compare selection-wise with our doctor. May even be cheaper to go there then pay for the office visit. lol

Proud Wifey And Mommii of 3 said...

Following you back fun. Can't wait to check out your blog a lil more.

Shairbearg said...

WOW what a difference between Canada and the US, someone mentioned 5 shots at once! Gracious! We have 2 at a time, and my doc doesn't even like to do that. He tries to break them up 2 weeks apart if at all possible.

Karen said...

I've been lucky with my daughter's doctor....he always checked with me whether or not her insurance would cover vaccines at that age amongst other things.

Our public health department is actually very pro-active in our community in not only telling people they can get their kids vaccines there, but at least once a year there is some sort of super shot Saturday in a few places to get the kids up to date on whatever they need for school...those events are usually no-cost. The most I've paid at one time for shots there was $2 last year and my daughter got five shots....two boostersm meningitis and the first of two optional ones that I had decided to have done.

She's 12 and the schools now require older kids to have the varicella booster or proof they had chicken pox and then the meningitis vaccine....lucky for her she got them both last year and so we didn't have to fight to get a convenient appointment this summer.

She only has one more gardisil to go and she'll be done for about 9 years for her tetanus booster.

You are so right that parents not only need to be educated on what the vaccines are for, but also when is best for their child to have what they need and also the best place to get them if they don't have insurance coverage. I wish more public health departments made as big a deal in the local media as mine does so we are informed.

lisad33611 said...

What a funny cartoon. Little S got that all-in-one shot. Her let had a knot in it for over 4 weeks! It was swollen and red. I called my sister who is a ped RN and she said they won't use it at the hospital bc they don't know the side effects. G-R-E-A-T! I felt like a really bad mommy. I trusted my Dr at his word. :( Now she gets shots one at a time. Better safe than sorry.

Alissabeth said...

We went through our pediatrician. As a nurse and mother, I'm not comfortable with the vaccines we give. The amount they 'need', the preservatives, etc. Not to mention, my son didn't tolerate some of them.

Next baby we'll be spreading them out.

Following through TTA!

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