MYTH #10 ALL VACCINES CONTAIN PRODUCTS TO WHICH CHILDREN ARE ALLERGIC
In the United States, where millions of children are vaccinated every year, there are about 200 cases of severe allergic reactions linked to vaccines. “A child can be allergic to a vaccine as for any other medication. Usually these allergies are very mild and involve swelling or redness. Occasionally they can be more severe and in that case the mother should consult with a doctor about exactly which vaccine it was so that it can be avoided in future. However, it’s not a reason to avoid all vaccines as there might just be one ingredient in a particular vaccine that the child may have reacted to,” says Dr Suchard. Because these allergic reactions happen suddenly, stay in the clinic for about 15 minutes after each shot.
If your child is allergic to eggs, the only vaccine you should avoid is the yellow fever vaccine. Even the flu vaccine, which makes use of eggs in production, has been shown to be safe for use by people with egg allergies. “Generally if your child can eat shop-bought biscuits without a reaction, they do not have a significant egg allergy,” says Dr Glass.
Gelatine is used as a stabiliser and preservative in vaccines and causes an allergic reaction in one in every two million vaccines. Children with a history of gelatine allergies (which can be very difficult to identify) can be offered alternatives. YB