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Vaccination FAQs (cont.)

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Are there any dangers to being immunized?

There is no such thing as a risk-free vaccine, and many risks may not be appreciated today. However, the health risk of not being vaccinated is real and is clearly greater than that of being vaccinated. Most side effects from vaccinations are mild and limited to local reactions at the injection site and/or a mild fever. Unfortunately, there are rarely serious and even fatal side effects related to vaccines. While these events are sad, not taking the vaccine could also result in death or disability.

Can people with severe egg allergies still get an annual influenza vaccination?

Starting in 2013, there is now an influenza vaccine specifically for people with egg allergy. Most influenza vaccines are made using eggs. Therefore, people with severe egg allergy had previously been recommended not to receive the influenza vaccine. However, the new vaccine, recombinant hemagglutinin influenza vaccine (RIV), is not made using eggs. This vaccine is safe for patients with egg allergy.

What reactions are likely after an immunization?

Most reactions to vaccines are mild and self-limited. These are usually limited pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the vaccination. These occur in up to 80% of individuals and start within hours of the vaccination. Some people can get more generalized symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite, and feeling generally tired. These systemic (generalized) reactions are seen more commonly with live attenuated vaccines and usually occur seven to 21 days after the vaccine was given. The worst (and very uncommon) reaction is anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction). These reactions usually occur shortly after the vaccine is given and can be life-threatening. Fortunately, these reactions only occur two times for every million doses of vaccine given.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2014

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Vaccinations - Indications Question: Have you followed the standard recommendations to vaccinate you or your children? Why or why not?
Vaccinations - Contraindications Question: Are you a person who has a condition that prevents you from being vaccinated? Please describe it.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/vaccination_faqs/article.htm

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