It’s best to talk to your child’s health care provider about your child’s allergies and any concerns you may have regarding allergies and vaccines. Some ingredients in vaccines can cause allergic reactions. In addition to gelatin, other ingredients in vaccines such as egg proteins, antibiotics and yeast proteins might cause an allergic reaction. Latex used in vaccine packaging is also a concern related to allergies.
Egg proteins: Because the influenza and yellow fever vaccines are grown in eggs, the final products may contain egg proteins. Advances in vaccine technology have resulted in significantly lower quantities of egg proteins in the influenza vaccine; therefore, people with egg allergies can now get influenza vaccine. However, it is recommended that children who are severely allergic to eggs remain in the office for 15 minutes after getting the influenza vaccine in case of any reaction.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used to prevent bacterial contamination during production of some vaccines. However, the types of antibiotics used in vaccines are not those to which people are usually allergic.
Yeast proteins: A couple of viral vaccines are made in yeast cells; these include hepatitis B vaccine and the human papillomavirus vaccine. Although the vaccine is purified away from the yeast cells, about 1 to 5 millionths of a gram remain in the final product. The good news is that people who are allergic to bread or bread products are not allergic to yeast, so the risk of allergy from yeast is not likely.
Latex packaging: A small number of vaccines are packaged with materials that include latex. While it is rare that patients have a reaction to latex in vaccine packaging, people with latex allergies should consult with their allergy doctor before getting any vaccines packaged in this way.
Corn and peanut oils: Vaccines do not contain either corn or peanut oils.