How Vaccines can Cause Allergic Reactions

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The CDC admits that people can develop life threatening allergic reactions to vaccines. It should come at no surprise because vaccines are just like any other medication. Some people will be allergic while most people will be fine. So what can trigger an allergic reaction to a vaccine?

Allergic Reaction to Gelatin in a Vaccine

Gelatin contained in vaccines can be the underlying cause of an allergic reaction. Gelatin, a type of protein typically obtained from cows or pigs, is obtained from specific body parts including cartilage, tendons, skin, bones, or ligaments. It is often used as a stabilizer* in vaccines.

Gelatin is used in some of the most commonly administered vaccines in the United States. These are:

  • Influenza
  • MMR
  • MMRV
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid
  • Varicella
  • Yellow Fever
  • Zoster

Gelatin is used as a stabilizer to ensure a vaccine maintains is effectiveness during the period of time it is being stored. Since the 1990s, gelatin contained in these common vaccines has been identified as the most common reason a person has an allergic reaction to this type of medication. This includes instances in which a reaction is so severe that a person goes into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis can be a life-threatening allergic reaction.

In response to the notable incidence of allergic reactions to gelatin in vaccines, some countries have worked to phase out its use. For example, Japan has banned the use of gelatin in vaccines. The United States has taken no such action in this regard.

Allergic Reaction to Egg in Vaccines

Some vaccines used in the United States and some other countries contain trace amounts of egg. This is yet another allergen for some people.

Because the presence of egg in a some vaccines is considered a trace amount, medical professionals administering a particular vaccination may not be aware of its presence in a vaccine. In fact, the manufacturer of a vaccine containing egg has a legal obligation to appropriately report its presence. Indeed, a pharmaceutical company has a legal responsibility to disclose the full spectrum of ingredients in a vaccine.

The professional administering a vaccination has a similar duty to make sure information about ingredients is conveyed to a patient in an understandable manner. Time and again, the provision of this data is not made in a manner that properly puts a patient on notice of ingredients in a vaccine.

Allergic Reaction to Other Vaccine Ingredients

In rare instances, a person may be allergic to a specific ingredient that is associated with a particular vaccine. Before a person submits to a vaccination, that individual is to be advised of any specific ingredient in a particular vaccine in order to make sure that the patient has no knowledge of an allergy.

Other potential ingredients include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Aluminum
  • Antibiotics

Legal Rights After a Vaccine Allergic Reaction

Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding an allergic reaction to a vaccine, an individual may be able to pursue a claim for injuries, damages, and losses from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Learn more about Vaccine Allergic Reactions and Vaccine News.

*A stabilizer helps to preserve the vaccine and prevent it from losing its potency over time.

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