Tag: allergies

Do 54% of Children Have a Chronic Health Condition?

Have you heard the claim from anti-vax folks that kids today are sicker than they used to be? That 54% of children have a chronic health condition?

Do you really want to be misled by anti-vax propaganda?
Do you really want to be misled by anti-vax propaganda?

Is that true?

Do 54% of Children Have a Chronic Health Condition?

Of course not.

The number comes from a 2011 report, A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations, a study that is being misused by anti-vax folks.

“An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included; 19.2% (14.2 million) have conditions resulting in a special health care need, a 1.6 point increase since 2003.”

Bethell et al on A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations.

For one thing, the study doesn’t say anything about vaccines.

And another, the researchers don’t actually say that 54% of children have chronic health conditions!

“And before parents panic, both studies — but especially the 2011 Academic Pediatrics paper — use rather broad definitions of chronic disease.

The 54% of kids with a chronic condition in 2007 include children with asthma, environmental allergies, ADHD, chronic ear infections, kids 10 or older who are overweight or obese, and young children “at risk” for a developmental delay, among many others.

Environmental allergies alone affected 24% of kids, while nearly a third of the older children were overweight or obese, and more than a quarter of the young children were considered at risk for developmental delay.”

Williamson Misleads on Children’s Health, Vaccines

Even more importantly, the survey on which the study was based actually says that the great majority of parents consider their kids to be in excellent or very good health!

The survey did not say that 54% of children had chronic health conditions.

And the percent of kids with excellent or very good health had been very steady in recent years.

The percent of kids with excellent or very good health has been very steady in recent years.

In fact, in the very latest survey, it is up to 90%!

Not only are 54% of children not in poor health, with chronic health problems, 90% of today's parents describe their children's health as excellent or very good!
Not only are 54% of children not in poor health, with chronic health problems, 90% of today’s parents describe their children’s health as excellent or very good!

Which effectively destroys the anti-vax argument that immunizations are causing kids to have a lot of chronic health conditions, as they have been getting more immunizations and greater protection against even more vaccine-preventable diseases during this time!

More on Kids and Chronic Health Conditions

Do Vaccines Cause Food Allergies?

Why do some folks think that vaccines can cause food allergies?

It’s likely for the same reason that they think that vaccines can cause eczema and reflux.

Many infants develop the first signs of food allergies around the same time that they are getting their first vaccines

Do Vaccines Cause Food Allergies?

To be clear, vaccines can be associated with food allergies, including:

  • eggs – most children with an egg allergy can get the flu shot, although the yellow fever vaccine could still be an issue
  • gelatin – some vaccines use gelatin, like in Jell-O, as a stabilizer
  • yeast – although they aren’t thought to be an issue for kids with yeast allergies, a few vaccines can have residual amounts of yeast in them
  • milk – very rarely and mainly based on scattered case reports, it is thought that residual casein proteins in DTaP/Tdap vaccines could trigger allergic reactions in some kids with severe milk allergies

But vaccines don’t cause these food allergies.

What about peanut allergies? Peanut oil is not actually a component of vaccines and vaccines have not caused a peanut allergy epidemic.

And FPIES?

“Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of non-IgE mediated food allergy that can present with severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.”

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)

It is important to note that having FPIES is not a contraindication to getting vaccinated.

And that’s not surprising, as there is no biologically plausible mechanism for any association between FPIES and vaccines!

What about the rotavirus vaccines? Could they be causing FPIES?

FPIES was recognized in the mid-1970s. We didn’t have a rotavirus vaccine back then.

Could it have been the oral polio virus, which we were using in the 1970s?

“Some researchers have speculated that T cells play a central role in the development of the localized inflammation in the intestinal tract that characterizes FPIES, but this theory has not been confirmed.”

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome

If it was, then why didn’t FPIES go away when we stopped using the oral polio vaccine in 2000. Or when we used neither OPV nor a rotavirus vaccine, from 2000 to 2007?

“The reviewed epidemiological evidence indicates that, although possibly not contributing to optimal stimulation of the immune system in infancy, current infant vaccines do not cause allergic diseases.”

Koppen et al on No epidemiological evidence for infant vaccinations to cause allergic disease.

There is also no evidence that vaccines are causing other types of food allergies.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

As you wait for your child to hopefully outgrow their food allergy, don’t unnecessarily skip or delay their vaccines and leave them at risk to get a vaccine preventable disease.

Vaccines and Food Allergies

Anaphylaxis After Vaccines

Anaphylaxis after vaccines is a well known side effect, but just how common is it?

Anaphylaxis After Vaccines

Since it is listed as a possible reaction to nearly all vaccines and it can be life-threatening, anaphylaxis must be fairly common, right?

“Vaccine providers should be familiar with identifying immediate-type allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, and be competent in treating these events at the time of vaccine administration. Providers should also have a plan in place to contact emergency medical services immediately in the event of a severe acute vaccine reaction.”

Preventing and Managing Adverse Reactions

After all, pediatricians even get warned to have a plan in place and to be prepared to treat children just in case they develop anaphylaxis after getting their vaccines.

Your pediatrician will likely have an EpiPen in the office in case your child has an anaplylactic reaction after his vaccines.
Epi Is Readily Available to Treat Most Kids with Anaphylaxis After Vaccines

Still, most probably have never had to.

“Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions to a vaccine are estimated at about 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.”

Possible Side-effects from Vaccines

And that’s because anaphylaxis after vaccines is very rare.

Anaphylaxis After Vaccines is Rarely Fatal

And suprisingly, it is even more rare for these cases to be fatal!

“All 30 patients with anaphylaxis survived (9 reports specified anaphylaxis, and we classified another 21 as probable cases, based on compatible clinical features, including respiratory and skin symptoms within 4 hours after vaccination). In half of 22 detailed reports, symptoms developed within 15 minutes after vaccination.”

Wise et al on Postlicensure Safety Surveillance for Varicella Vaccine

But that study just looked at the chicken pox vaccine and used VAERS, so we have to be concerned about under-reporting, right? Well, not necessarily. Under-reporting likely isn’t a big problem for serious reactions.

Anyway, that’s not the only study…

“We identified 33 confirmed vaccine-triggered anaphylaxis cases that occurred after 25,173,965 vaccine doses. The rate of anaphylaxis was 1.31 (95% CI, 0.90-1.84) per million vaccine doses.”

McNeill et al on Risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination in children and adults

The McNeill study used the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which unlike VAERS, is not a passive reporting system. So there is no concern about underreporting.

And like the Wise study, there were no deaths among these vaccine-triggered anaphylaxis cases.

“Fatalities from vaccine-induced anaphylaxis are exceedingly rare.”

Adverse reactions to vaccines practice parameter 2012 update

Similarly, a study in the UK found rare reports of anaphylaxis after vaccines in children and all those children made a full recovery.

Parents should understand that while anaphylaxis is a known side effect to getting a vaccine, it is extremely rare, and can usually be treated. This once again reinforces that vaccines are safe!

More on Anaphylaxis After Vaccines

Yeast in Vaccines

Yeast in vaccines?

Yeast in Vaccines

Yes, a few vaccines may contain trace amounts of yeast proteins.

Why?

Those vaccines are actually made in baker’s yeast (the growth medium), kind of like other vaccines are grown in cell cultures, etc.

And although most of the yeast proteins are removed as the vaccine antigens are removed and purified, some residual yeast proteins might remain in the vaccine.

More on Yeast in Vaccines