Allergies and vaccination

A global threat

Parents who opt not to vaccinate their children are one of the 10 biggest threats to global health this year, according to the WHO’s list of biggest health concerns.  Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease and prevents 2 to 3 million deaths a year.

Allergies and vaccination: 

Vaccination is of particular importance in patients with allergies, as many preventable diseases can cause significant flare ups in asthma and allergic rhinitis. In patients with immune-deficiency

Diseases, vaccinations are essential but should be guided by a health care practitioner as some live vaccines may be contra-indicated in certain primary immunodeficiency.

Contrary to popular belief, egg allergy is NOT a contra-indication to any of the routine childhood vaccines, and does not require a specialized setting for administration. “Special” vaccines such as yellow fever and rabies may need to be given in a specialist setting in egg- allergic children.

Allergies to actual vaccines are rare. More often, “immune activation” after vaccines can cause a period of fevers and even rashes and eczema flares. This is to be expected and does not represent an allergy to the vaccines.

The influenza vaccine is generally recommended in patients with chest and cardiac diseases, including asthmatics.

Let’s all encourage our patients and friends to adhere to the recommended vaccine schedules!