Canadian Doctors Say Vaccine Related Allergies Are Rare

Vaccine side effects should be reported to your healthcare provider, FDA or CDC

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According to a new study by McMaster University physicians, there is a small chance you are actually allergic to vaccines. 

And, if you experience vaccine side effects, an allergist may have a solution. 

This is important news since this study says 1 in 760,000 vaccinations will respond with anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. 

The 5 things to know about vaccine allergies present in this study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal are as follows: 

  1. Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergies to vaccines are extremely uncommon. Responding to a vaccine with hives, swelling, wheezing or anaphylaxis does happen. It will start within minutes of the vaccination, is unlikely to begin after 60 minutes and highly unlikely to occur after four hours. 
  2. Signs like fever, local pain or local swelling are not signs of allergy. These responses to a vaccine may happen as much as seven to 21 days after a vaccination, but they are not an allergic reaction. 
  3. With the exception of the yellow fever vaccine, an egg allergy is no reason to avoid vaccinations. No special precaution is needed when people who have an egg allergy have an influenza, MMR, or rabies vaccination because the amount of egg protein it may contain is too minuscule, says the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Pediatric Society. 
  4. If you have a latex allergy, it will be the rubber stopper or preloaded syringe, not the vaccine that causes a problem. 
  5. If you really do have a vaccine allergy, allergists can help immunize you through techniques such as graded administration or giving the vaccine a little at a time. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to your healthcare provider, FDA or CDC.

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The ‘Five facts about allergies to vaccines’, was published by 2 McMaster University physicians, Derek Chu, a fellow in clinical immunology and allergy in the Department of Medicine, and Zainab Abdurrahman, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics. 

Dr. Zainab Abdurrahman reports receiving personal fees from Pfizer, outside the submitted work. No other competing interests were declared. 

For more information: Veronica McGuire, Media Coordinator, McMaster University, [email protected]