Why Are Antibiotics In Some Vaccines
Certain antibiotics may be used in some vaccine production to help prevent bacterial contamination during manufacturing. As a result, small amounts of antibiotics may be present in some vaccines. Because some antibiotics can cause severe allergic reactions in those children allergic to them , some parents are concerned that antibiotics contained in vaccines might be harmful. However, antibiotics most likely to cause severe allergic reactions are not used in vaccine production, and therefore are not contained in vaccines.
Examples of antibiotics used during vaccine manufacture include neomycin, polymyxin B, streptomycin and gentamicin. Some antibiotics used in vaccine production are present in the vaccine, either in very small amounts or they are undetectable. For example, antibiotics are used in some production methods for making inactivated influenza virus vaccines. They are used to reduce bacterial growth in eggs during processing steps, because eggs are not sterile products. The antibiotics that are used are reduced to very small or undetectable amounts during subsequent purification steps. The very small amounts of antibiotics contained in vaccines have not been clearly associated with severe allergic reactions.
Antivirals: What To Do When You Already Have The Flu
When you come down with the flu, antiviral medicine can shorten its duration. The FDA has approved six influenza antiviral drugs in the U.S. But theyre all in somewhat short supply, so you might not be given them if youre not a child or elderly. This is why we get our flu shots, people!
The antiviral you probably already know goes by the brand name of Tamiflu, which you can get over the counter with relative ease even if youre not young or elderly. This drug, along with two others that work in the same manner , block an enzyme the virus needs to replicate. They can shave up to a day off your illness, but they need multiple doses to keep the drug working. Tamiflu, for instance, requires patients to take it twice a day for five days.
The newest antiviral, Baloxavir marboxil , is a single-dose antiviral drug approved in 2019 by the FDA. Baloxavir is for people with basic flu who are 12 years and older and have had symptoms for less than 48 hours. In a phase 2 trial published by The New England Journal of Medicine, it shaved off upwards of 28 hours of flu symptoms . This antiviral stands out in that its the only one that gets to the root of replication, messing with the virus RNA to stop it from reproducing. Also, its one of the only ones to come in a single dose, so you can pop it once and forget about it.
What Severe Reactions Have Occurred In The Us
On Dec. 15, 2020, a nurse in Alaska became the first American to have an anaphylactic reaction to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. She got her shot at the Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, where she works. The hospital emergency physician who treated her told a press briefing that the woman had a red rash on her face and experienced shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate. She was given epinephrine.
The nurse was admitted to the hospital, and put on an epinephrine drip and treated with steroids. A day later, she had recovered and was discharged.
On Dec. 24, 2020, a Boston doctor became the first to experience anaphylaxis to the Moderna vaccine. The doctor, who said his blood pressure dropped significantly, administered his own epinephrine auto-injector . He recovered and was discharged.
On Jan. 6, 2021 in its first report on allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, the CDC gave some details on 21 confirmed anaphylactic reactions reported in the first 1.5 weeks of vaccination program. Given the context that those reactions were out of 1.9 million doses administered, the CDC said a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be a rare event.
Of the 21 patients who developed anaphylaxis , 17 had history of allergies or allergic reactions to drugs or to foods or insect stings. There was no common allergen, and all recovered with treatment. Most received epinephrine.
The CDCs Jan. 6 COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions report says:
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Evergreen Flu Vaccine Ingredients: The Preservatives And Additives
Beyond the three to four viral components, a number of additives and preservatives are required to make vaccines effective and to keep them from going bad. These ingredients, sometimes covered as trade secrets by drug companies in less public drugs, have led to many a conspiracy theory that anti-vaxxers would have you latch onto. Its really much more boring than that.
Here are some of the ingredients you will find in the 2021-2022 flu vaccine and why theyre there.
The Ingredient: Aluminum Salts
Use: Boosts bodys response to the vaccine
The Ingredient: Sugar or gelatin
In: Most vaccines
In: Few flu vaccines only multi-dose vials
The CDC says: Thimerosal has a different form of mercury than the kind that causes mercury poisoning . Its safe to use ethylmercury in vaccines because its processed differently in the body and its less likely to build up in the body and because its used in tiny amounts. Even so, most vaccines do not have any thimerosal in them.
The Ingredient: Egg proteins
In: Some vaccines
Use: Growing the vaccine
The CDC says: Because influenza and yellow fever vaccines are both made in eggs, egg proteins are present in the final products. However, there are two new flu vaccines now available for people with egg allergies.
Are Other Adjuvants Used In Fda
Yes. Cervarix, a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus types 16 and 18, includes AS04 in its formulation. AS04 is a combination of aluminum hydroxide and monophosphoryl lipid A . MPL is a purified fat-like substance. The manufacturer no longer markets Cervarix in the United States.
One vaccine for the prevention of H5N1 influenza, commonly referred to as avian influenza or bird flu, contains the adjuvant AS03, an oil-in-water emulsion. The AS03 adjuvant is made up of the oily compounds, D,L-alpha-tocopherol and squalene, and an emulsifier, polysorbate 80, which helps ingredients mix together and keep them from separating, and water containing small amounts of salts. The vaccine is not commercially available, but included within the U.S. governments National Stockpile if public health officials determine it is needed.
Fluad, a vaccine for the prevention of seasonal influenza in adults 65 years of age and older, includes MF59, also an oil-in-water emulsion of squalene oil.
Heplisav-B, a vaccine for the prevention of infection caused hepatitis B virus in adults 18 years of age and older, includes CpG 1018, an adjuvant based on synthetic DNA sequences.
Shingrix, a vaccine for the prevention of shingles in adults 50 years of age and older, includes AS01B. AS01B is made of up MPL, a purified fat-like substance, and QS-21 which is purified from the bark of the Quillaja saponaria evergreen tree native to central Chile.
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Is Polyethylene Glycol To Blame For The Few Anaphylaxis Cases To The Vaccines
Polyethylene glycol is a compound found in skin creams, medications and some constipation remedies. In rare cases, PEG has been known to set off severe allergic reactions.
The Pfizer and Moderna shots both contain PEG, which is used to coat and protect each of the mRNA vaccines. There is much discussion of whether PEG is the possible cause of the COVID-19 vaccine reactions seen to date. There is no confirmation of that, and drug allergy experts have told Allergic Living that anaphylaxis to PEG is quite rare.
A study led by allergists at Massachusetts General Hospital notes that an FDA review between 2005 and 2017 showed an average of just four cases of PEG anaphylaxis per year. The Mass General study says there are many formulations of PEG, and the component used in the mRNA vaccines is different from the PEG used most commonly in other health-care products.
At present, the CDC is saying those with a history of an IgE-based allergic reaction to PEG or to polysorbate should not get either of these vaccines. Investigation continues into the cause of the few serious reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Can I Get The Covid
The short answer is yes. In its guidance to doctors on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the CDC says:
1. There is no restriction in the U.S. on receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for anyone who has:
A history of food, pet, insect, venom, environmental or latex allergies. A history of allergy to oral medications. Non-serious allergy to vaccines or other injectables . Family history of allergies.Post-Vaccination Observation:The CDCs guidance for post-vaccination observation says there should be a 30-minute observation period for: Persons with a history of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a vaccine or injectable therapy And for persons with a history of anaphylaxis due to any cause.For those who have allergies but have never experienced anaphylaxis, the observation period is 15 minutes, the same as for those with no allergy history.
Further to Food and Latex: The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology notes that individuals with allergies to medications, foods, inhalants, insects, and latex are probably no more likely than the general public to have an allergic reaction to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
As well, allergy experts Allergic Living has interviewed emphasize that there are no food proteins among the ingredients of either of the mRNA vaccines. On latex, the CDC notes that the stoppers on the mRNA vaccine vials are not made of natural rubber latex.
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Safety And Side Effects
Over the past 10 years, the safety of SLIT has been well documented. No serious or fatal reactions to sublingual allergy drops have been reported to date. Mild side effects, such as an itchy mouth, occur in the majority of people, and moderate side effects have been documented , including:
- Lip, mouth, and tongue irritation
- Eye itching, redness, and swelling
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea
- Sneezing, nasal itching, and congestion
- Asthma symptoms
- Urticaria and angioedema
Due to the safety of SLIT, people generally treat themselves at home and are followed in a clinic at close intervals to monitor response to treatment.
If You Get The Vaccine And Think Youre Experiencing Anaphylaxis
If you have known allergies and believe you experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, follow your emergency care plan: use your epinephrine auto-injector, then call 9-1-1.If you have never experienced a severe allergic reaction and dont carry epinephrine: call 9-1-1 and mention this is an anaphylactic reaction and that you need an ambulance carrying epinephrine.
Post treatment: Your severe reaction should be reported through the CDCs Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System . Health-care providers are required to report such adverse events.
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How Should I Prepare For Allergy Shots
You may want to avoid exercise or doing anything strenuous for 2 hours before and after your appointment. Thatâs because exercise boosts blood flow to the tissues and may cause the allergens to spread throughout your body faster. Itâs not likely to cause a serious problem, but itâs best to be safe.
Tell your doctor about any other medicines or herbs and supplements you take. Some medications interfere with the treatment or raise the risk of side effects. You may need to stop allergy shots if you take these medications.
Aluminium Exposure Dosage And Undesired Effects
Aluminium is an abundant compound in our environment in the aluminium age . Many novel materials are imprinted with nanoparticulate aluminium to promote their comfort of use, such as textiles or toothpaste. Still, the physical and chemical forms of aluminium determine its bioavailability and hence toxicity. In the insoluble form aluminium compounds may form particles, which lead to inflammation upon ingestion or respiration.
The intakes in drinking water vary largely but may in some areas exceed 15 times the World Health Organization recommendations for tolerable weekly intake . The solubility depends on the pH and may at acidic pH even reach 90 mg/L. It may be airborne at levels between 0.0005 g/m3 to 1 g/m3 . Also food and feed-intake and -additives contribute to aluminium consumption. Altogether, the European Food Safety Agency determined the TWI to 1 mg/kg body weight from all sources of aluminium . Breast milk contains 0.04 mg/L aluminium. Therefore, until the age of 6 months breast-fed infants have consumed 7,2 mg aluminium totally, formula-fed 38 mg and soy-fed up to 112 mg, because soy is a plant that accumulates aluminium .
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Ingredients Are Used During The Production Of Vaccines
Some ingredients that are needed to produce the vaccine are no longer needed for the vaccine to work in a person.
These ingredients are taken out after production so only tiny amounts are left in the final product. The very small amounts of these ingredients that remain in the final product arent harmful.
Examples of ingredients used in some vaccines include:
- Cell culture material , like eggs, to help grow the vaccine antigens.
- Inactivating ingredients , like formaldehyde, to weaken or kill viruses, bacteria, or toxins in the vaccine.
- Antibiotics , like neomycin, to help keep outside germs and bacteria from growing in the vaccine.
Conflict Of Interest Statement
X. Bovermann has nothing to declare. I. Ricklefs has nothing to declare. C. Vogelberg has received a speaker honorarium or consultant fees from the following companies: Aimmune, ALK-Abelló, Allergopharma, AstraZeneca, Bencard Allergie, Boehringer Ingelheim, DBV Technologies, HAL, InfectoPharm, LETIPharma, Novartis Pharma, Sanofi-Aventis, and Stallergenes. L. Klimek reports grants and personal fees from Allergopharma, Germany, personal fees from MEDA, Sweden, grants and personal fees from Novartis, Switzerland, grants and personal fees from Allergopharma, Germany, grants and personal fees from Bionorica, Germany, personal fees from Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany, grants and personal fees from GSK, Great Britain, grants and personal fees from Lofarma, Italy, grants from Biomay, Austria, grants from HAL, The Netherlands, grants from LETIPharma, Spain, grants from Roxall, Germany, and grants from Bencard, Great Britain, outside the submitted work. M.V. Kopp has received a speaker honorarium or consultant fees from the following companies: ALK-Abelló, Allergopharma, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Glaxo, InfectoPharm, Sanofi-Aventis, LETIPharma, Novartis Pharma, and Vertex.
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What Is In The Flu Shot
Every year, scientists around the world do their best to get one step ahead of the flu by developing that years iteration of the flu shot. As a reminder, vaccines work by giving your body a chance to fight off an altered version of a virus or bacteria, so that if and when it encounters the live virus in the wild, it already knows how to react, and you never get sick. But whats in a flu shot is a little more complicated.
The recipe starts with the four most common influenza strains from around the world, injected into fertilized chicken eggs or mammalian cells, deactivated so it doesnt give you the actual flu, mixed with a grab-bag of preservatives, antibiotics, and sugars. This combination is then formulated for a shot or spray to make it in time for the 2021 flu season. For those science-is-fucking-awesome types out there, this is indeed awesome.
Its also complex as hell something that keeps virologists on their toes every year. Influenza strains constantly mutate, but scientists get one shot at the annual vaccine, making their best guess some 30 weeks in advance to get the flu shot out to the public.
And Heres The Real Kicker Aluminum
In an enlightened conversation about health and autonomy, Marco Cáceres writes:
Allergy shots can contain aluminum as an adjuvant. Same as with vaccines, only perhaps more aluminum per shot and cumulatively, given that allergy shots are given more frequently than vaccines.
There may be exceptions: please request to SEE the list of ingredients from your doctor.
According to Christopher Exley, PhD, professor of bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University in the United Kingdom:
Aluminium-based adjuvants are the most commonly used adjuvant in subcutaneous allergy immunotherapy . Approximately 75% of all such adjuvant-based therapies include an aluminium salt. In parallel with the use of aluminium-based adjuvants in vaccinations these adjuvants have been in use in allergy immunotherapies for over 80 years.
There are very few data purporting to the safety of aluminium adjuvants in allergy immunotherapy and particularly so in relation to longer term health effects, adds Dr. Exley.
Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness among Americans. What we dont know is how many people are suffering from the side-effects of the allergy shots they take and what the economic costs are of that treatment.
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Slit Vs Traditional Allergy Shots
Traditional allergy shots have been a proven therapy in treating allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, and venom allergy for nearly a century. Allergy shots have been FDA-approved for many years, although they need to be given in a physicians office due to the potential for severe side effects. Therefore, they may be an inconvenience to many people.
Studies comparing the efficacy of traditional allergy shots and SLIT show that allergy shots are better at treating allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. In addition, immunologic markers and other tests that correlate with response to immunotherapy are seen less commonly in people receiving SLIT.
While allergy shots appear to be superior at treating allergic disease, SLIT will likely eventually become an important treatment option for people unwilling or unable to receive allergy shots.
Can People With Egg Allergies Get Vaccinated
A: Yes. People with egg allergies can get any licensed, recommended flu vaccine thats appropriate for their age. They no longer have to be watched for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine. People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care professional who can recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
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