Category: Vaccine Ingredients

Should You Use a Vaccine Ingredient Calculator?

Do you want to make an informed vaccination decision?

Are you looking for more information about the ingredients in the vaccines your kids are about to get?

Have you tried one of those vaccine ingredient calculators?

Should You Use a Vaccine Ingredient Calculator?

As you do your research and look at the risks and benefits of your vaccine decision, you should know that those vaccine ingredient calculators that claim to help reduce toxins aren’t really helping you make an informed decision.

Calculate which vaccine-preventable diseases your child will be protected from when he gets vaccinated.
Calculate which vaccine-preventable diseases your child will be protected from when he gets vaccinated.

They are a propaganda tool that simply works to increase fear about vaccines by making you think that you need to do a vaccine lot search, compare vaccine brands, or work to reduce exposures to  specific ingredients.

Why would you need to do a lot search? There are no hot lots of vaccines that you need to avoid.

Why would you need to compare vaccines based on their brands? Vaccines are safe. Vaccine ingredients are safe. Although the ingredients might vary a bit based on the brand of vaccine, that isn’t going to impact how well a vaccine works or it’s side effects.

And the sites with these types of calculators never mention the risks of skipping or delaying vaccines.

Which Vaccines Contain More Than the FDA Approved Amount of Aluminum?

But what about aluminum?

Depending on the brand, don’t some vaccines do contain more aluminum than others?

“The alternative suggests only one aluminum-containing vaccine at a time in the infant years (the right brands must be chosen). By spreading out the shots, you spread out the exposure so infants can process the aluminum without it reaching toxic levels.”

Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book

The FDA states that “the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of a biological product shall not exceed” 0.85  to 1.25 milligrams.

Not surprisingly, no vaccine exceeds that approved amount of aluminum, no matter what brand you choose.

Why do anti-vaccine folks scare parents into thinking that their kids are getting exposed to potentially toxic levels of aluminum from vaccines?

“WARNING: This product contains aluminum that may be toxic. Aluminum may reach toxic levels with prolonged parenteral administration if kidney function is impaired. Premature neonates are particularly at risk because their kidneys are immature, and they require large amounts of calcium and phosphate solutions, which contain aluminum.
Research indicates that patients with impaired kidney function, including premature neonates, who receive parenteral levels of aluminum at greater than 4 to 5 [micro]g/kg/day accumulate aluminum at levels associated with central nervous system and bone toxicity. Tissue loading may occur at even lower rates of administration.”

FDA on Aluminum in large and small volume parenterals used in total parenteral nutrition.

The FDA and AAP and others began investigating and then warning folks about aluminum in 1986. They weren’t worried about aluminum in vaccines though. They were concerned that newborns and younger premature infants might be getting too much aluminum if they were getting a lot of IV products with aluminum, especially if they weren’t able to eat on their own and were dependent on total parental nutrition for long periods of time.

So these were high risk infants who were potentially getting high doses of aluminum each and every day for weeks or months at a time. And somehow anti-vaccine folks equated this with other infants who were getting vaccines every few months, at least they did once they started to move away from worrying about thimerosal.

What to Know About Using a Vaccines Ingredient Calculator

Vaccine ingredient calculators are a propaganda tool that anti-vaccine folks use to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

More on Using a Vaccines Ingredient Calculator

Which Vaccines Are Gluten Free?

Why does gluten sometimes come up in discussions about vaccines?

Is it because a vaccine to treat people with Celiac disease is being tested?

Probably not.

It is more likely that it is because some people worry that vaccines contain gluten.

Which Vaccines Are Gluten-Free?

So which vaccines are gluten-free?

All vaccines are gluten-free. Do they need to labeled 'gluten-free' to convince some vaccine hesitant folks?
All vaccines are gluten-free. Do they need to labeled ‘gluten-free’ to convince some vaccine hesitant folks?

Fortunately, they all are, so you don’t have to worry about skipping or delaying your child’s vaccines if they have Celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity, or if you are simply following a gluten-free diet.

Vaccines and Food Allergies

Non-active components of vaccines can rarely trigger allergic reactions, including antibiotics and latex.

What about non-active vaccine ingredients that might worry someone with food allergies?

There actually are some, including eggs, milk, gelatin, and yeast.

Talk to your pediatrician or a pediatric allergist if you are concerned about vaccine allergies. They can review the “Algorithm for treatment of patients with hypersensitivity reactions after vaccines,” which “provides a rational and organized approach for the evaluation and treatment of patients with suspected hypersensitivity.”

This is especially important if you think that your child is allergic to all vaccines, something that is almost unheard of, as vaccines have different components and are made in different ways.

You don’t have to worry about gluten though.

What To Know About Vaccines and Gluten

There is no gluten in vaccines and vaccines are actually in development to treat people with gluten sensitivity.

For More Information on Vaccine Allergies

 

Fetal Bovine Serum in Vaccines

Are you worried that there might be fetal bovine serum in your child’s vaccines?

Fetal Bovine Serum in Vaccines

Are you wondering why they even put fetal bovine serum in vaccines?

Well, it is not really added to the vaccine, like a preservative or other vaccine ingredient.

Instead, the FDA explains why fetal bovine serum might be in some vaccines:

“In the manufacture of viral vaccines, the virus may be grown in cells.  These cells need a source of nutrition, which in some instances may be provided by fetal bovine serum.”

Common Ingredients in U.S. Licensed Vaccines

So fetal bovine serum is used as a growth media to provide nutrients to viruses.

What about bovine serum albumin?

Bovine serum albumin actually comes from fetal bovine serum. It is one of the major components and is very similar to human serum albumin.

“Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a major component of fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is commonly used as a culture medium during vaccine production. Because BSA can cause allergic reactions in humans the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a guidance of 50 ng or less residual BSA per vaccine dose.”

Loughney et al on Residual bovine serum albumin (BSA) quantitation in vaccines using automated Capillary Western technology.

And they are eventually removed from vaccines through multiple processing and purification steps. Any that remains is only in residual trace amounts.

So even though you don’t have to be concerned about it, there likely isn’t even any fetal bovine serum or albumin left in any of the shots that your kids get!

That’s also why fetal bovine albumin is unlikely to cause or trigger vaccine allergies.

There is also no risk that using these materials from cows could cause mad-cow disease.

More on Fetal Bovine Serum

Latex Allergies and Vaccines

Can you get vaccines if you have a latex allergy?

The vial stoppers of some vaccines contain natural rubber latex.
The vial stoppers of some vaccines contain natural rubber latex.

“Dry, natural rubber is used in the tip of syringe plungers, the tip on prefilled syringes, vial stoppers,” and could cause a problem for some people with latex allergies.

Latex Allergies and Vaccines

According to the ACIP:

If a person reports a severe (anaphylactic) allergy to latex, vaccines supplied in vials or syringes that contain natural rubber latex should not be administered unless the benefit of vaccination clearly outweighs the risk for a potential allergic reaction. In these cases, providers should be prepared to treat patients who are having an allergic reaction.

For latex allergies other than anaphylactic allergies (e.g., a history of contact allergy to latex gloves), vaccines supplied in vials or syringes that contain dry, natural rubber or natural rubber latex may be administered.

General Recommendations on Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Many vaccines use synthetic rubber or synthetic latex though, so getting vaccinated with one of these vaccines would be a good alternative if your child has a severe allergy to latex.

Keep in mind that you aren’t supposed to simply remove the latex stopper from a vaccine vial to try and avoid triggering an anaphylactic reaction. Still, that did work for one patient in the case report Anaphylaxis after hepatitis B vaccination though. She got her second dose using “rubber free technique” and didn’t have a reaction.

Most importantly, keep in mind that vaccine allergies because of latex don’t seem to be a big problem.

One study Vaccination of persons allergic to latex: a review of safety data in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), in the journal Vaccine “revealed only 28 cases of possible immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions in vaccine recipients with a history of allergy to latex.” And only two of those required hospitalization.

Vaccines and Latex

If your child has had a severe anaphylactic allergy to latex, you might need to avoid these vaccines with latex:

  • Adacel and Boostrix
  • Bexsero
  • Engerix B and Recombivax
  • Havrix and Vaqta
  • Infanrix
  • Kinrix
  • Pediarix
  • Rotarix
  • Tenivac
  • Twinrix
  • VF-Vax
  • Flucelvax, Fluad and Fluvirin

Again, unless it is an anaphylactic reaction, your child can get these vaccines. And check the latest package insert to see if they still contain latex.

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