According to a research conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), allergic reactions to vaccines are extremely rare among people. The most dangerous form of reaction to vaccine components is anaphylaxis shock.
However, the redeeming quality of a vaccine-triggered allergy is that it is temporary, which means most patients outgrow it within a matter of two to five
But these allergies and the myths surrounding them are often used to avoiding immunization altogether, which can have severe consequences for the patient and their progeny.
As per experts in the field, the most common symptom of an allergic reaction to vaccines is fever, which shouldn’t contraindicate future doses.
However, any other serious symptom must be reported to concerned authorities such as allergists, so that the vaccine can then be evaluated for causation.
Allergists are the best bet to track down the causal allergen of vaccine-triggered reactions. They perform tests to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment for the said allergy.
A key point to understand is that the medicinal substance in the vaccine itself doesn’t activate the allergy; but the stabilizers, preservatives and other components present in the vaccine or the syringe – such as gelatin or egg protein and, rarely, yeast, latex, Neomycin or Thimerosal – do.
Additionally, since gelatin is generally the suspect, allergy testing for gelatin resistance of the patient ought to be performed before administering certain vaccines.
How Controversies are Born
Due to certain disproved conspiracy theories such as the one against MMR (measles and mumps vaccines) created back in the late 90s, and the growing lobby against vaccinations, several patients mistake allergic reactions for something far more serious.
What You Must Do In Dilemma
Do not panic. Remember that MMR and other vaccines, such as one type of rabies vaccine, contain negligible or no egg protein, and can be administered to gelatin-allergic children without prior skin testing.
Egg protein is present more in Yellow Fever and Influenza vaccines, and may cause reactions in patients allergic to it. Proper evaluations from an allergist prior to receiving these vaccines are recommended. However, none of these allergies should prompt cutting down on immunization. Several replacements for these substances and treatments for the allergies are available.
A further recommendation by immunologists is that if the evaluations turn out to be positive, the vaccine must be administered by an allergy specialist who is prepared to treat for an emergency if needed.
But the drive to immunize your child must not stop, as these allergies aren’t permanent, and are entirely treatable.