Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 11–17 | Cite as

Allergenic components of vaccines and avoidance of vaccination-related adverse events

  • John W. Georgitis
  • Mary Beth Fasano


Vaccines have had a dramatic effect on the prevalence of communicable diseases, but, in selected individuals, the injection presents a risk of anaphylaxis. Fortunately, most people have no allergic reactions to vaccines. In egg-allergic individuals, care must be taken before administering specific vaccines; the algorithm provided in this article gives specific recommendations for skin testing and desensitization. This algorithm is not needed for individuals receiving the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine because the risk of anaphylaxis is extremely low, even in those with known egg-protein sensitivity. Some individuals have gelatin sensitivity, which may cause anaphylaxis. Selected vaccines contain antibiotic drugs, so it is important to note if an individual has any known drug sensitivity, especially to neomycin, polymyxin B, or amphotericin B. Lastly, vaccine preservatives may cause reactions, but this occurs very infrequently.


Measle Rabies Poliomyelitis Pertussis Vaccine Thimerosal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References and Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    American Academy of Pediatrics: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. In Red Book, edn 25. Edited by Pickering LK. Elk Grove Village: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2000:1–82.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Physicians’ Desk Reference, edn 54. Montvale: Medical Economics; 2000.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zimmerman B, Zimmerman RS: Adverse reactions to vaccines. In Allergy: Principles and Practice, edn 5. Edited by Middleton EM Jr, Reed CE, Ellis EF, et al. St. Louis: Mosby; 1998:1199–1211.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mansoor O, Pillans PI: Vaccine adverse events reported in New Zealand 1990–5. N Z Med J 1997, 110:270–272.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen RT, Glasser JW, Rhodes PH, et al.: Vaccine Safety Datalink project: a new tool for improving vaccine safety monitoring in the United States: the Vaccine Safety Datalink Team. Pediatrics 1997, 99:765–773.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fasano MB, Wood RA, Cooke SK, et al.: Egg hypersensitivity and adverse reactions to measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. J Pediatr 1992, 120:878–881.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kelso JM, Jones RT, Yunginger JW: Anaphylaxis to measles, mumps and rubella vaccine mediated by IgE to gelatin. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1993, 91:867–872.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    James JM, Burks AW, Roberson PK, et al.: Safe administration of the measles vaccine to children allergic to eggs. N Engl J Med 1995, 332:1262–1266.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Herman JJ, Radin R, Schneiderman BS: Allergic reactions to measles (rubeola) vaccine in patients hypersensitive to eggs. J Pediatr 1983, 102:196–199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Patrizi A, Rizzoli L, Vincenzi C, et al.: Sensitization to thimerosal in atopic children. Contact Dermatitis 1999, 40:94–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Baydar T, Aydin A, Isimer A, et al.: Aluminum content of vaccines used in Turkey. J Trace Elem Med Biol 1999, 13:89–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Malakoff D: Public Health: aluminum is put on trial as a vaccine booster. Science 2000, 288:1323–1324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al.: North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results for the detection of delayed-type hypersensitivity to topical allergens. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998, 38:911–918.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sakaguchi M, Inouye S: IgE sensitization to gelatin: the probable role of gelatin-containing diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DtaP) vaccines. Vaccine 2000, 18:2055–2058.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nakayama T, Aizawa C, Kuno-Sakai H: A clinical analysis of gelatin allergy and determination of its causal relationship to the previous administration of gelatin-containing acellular pertussis vaccine combined with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999, 103:321–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sakguchi M, Nakayama T, Inouye S: Cases of systemic immediate-type urticaria associated with acellular diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination. Vaccine 1998, 16:1138–1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Agha R: Complications of immunizations. Pediatr Rev 1997, 18:66–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Georgitis
    • 1
  • Mary Beth Fasano
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Center BoulevardWake Forest University School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

Personalised recommendations