Official advice changes but generally the bare minimum is offered ...
Former Director of the Public Health Lab Service, Sir Graham S. Wilson MD, who wrote The Hazards of Mass Immunization in 1967, states "Vaccination is far too often employed... to avoid the tedious, troublesome and sometimes expensive process of improving personal and environmental hygiene.
An allergic history... current treatments... and general state of health and nutrition - should all be taken into consideration before a person is inoculated... but this is not possible under the conditions of mass immunization"
1. Do not give any vaccine if you are immunocompromised. Severely immunocompromised persons should not be given vaccines. This includes persons with a variety of conditions, including congenital immunodeficiency, AIDS, leukaemia, lymphoma, generalized malignancy, or those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy or taking large doses of steroids.
2. Do not give any vaccine if severe breathing problems were previously experienced. Be aware that reactions to vaccinations increase and that reactions can run in families, especially among boys.
Boosters are given because each vaccine has variable efficacy e.g. 60-95% but you may wish to weigh up the odds if your child has already experienced a severe reaction.
3. Delay vaccination until the recipient is well. Advice used to be that vaccinations should not be given on top of a cold, now advice is only delay if the child has a fever. However, use your intuition. If you feel that your child is coming down with a virus or infection, has been recently exposed to say chicken pox, or is taking antibiotics, consider delaying vaccination.
4. Do not give the MMR if your child has a severe Gelatin allergy.
5. Check all Vaccine Inserts for other contraindications. e.g. Anyone who experiences a severe allergic reaction (e.g. hives, swelling of the mouth or throat, difficulty breathing) following the first dose of MMR should not receive a second dose. Anyone knowing they are allergic to an MMR component (gelatin, neomycin) should not receive this vaccine. Women known to be pregnant should not receive the MMR vaccine, and pregnancy should be avoided for four weeks following vaccination with MMR. This is because the vaccine contains live rubella virus.
6. Consider carefully if your child has previous experienced a fit.
Until the 1980’s it was medically recommended not to vaccinate if the child had previously experienced a febrile convulsion, usually after the whooping cough vaccine. Then immunoglobulin was administered at the same time as vaccination to certain children, while some European countries gave anti-convulsants, and finally valium was recommended (which had not been tested on children!). Today nothing is recommended but again consider your own child's situation.