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1.6 What are some contraindications to vaccinations?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

1.6 What are some contraindications to vaccinations?

Contraindications vary with the vaccine, so contraindications for each
specific vaccine are given in the appropriate sections. Some common
ones are: allergy to some substance contained in the vaccine (such as
eggs or thimerosal, a preservative used in some vaccines), a weakened
immune system (which may make attenuated live vaccines more risky),
and pregnancy.

The allergies to worry about, in particular, are those with an
anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reaction, e.g. hives, swelling of mouth
and throat, difficulty breathing, hypotension, or shock.

Breastfeeding is not a contraindication to vaccination. From
Harrison's Internal Medicine, "Breastfed infants can be immunized on a
normal schedule. Breast feeding does not adversely affect the immunce
response and is not a contraindication for any vaccine. Breast-feeding
mothers also may be vaccinated without any problem." (British Medical
Journal 1994; 309:1073-5 contains an article which confirms that
breastfeeding will not interfere with vaccination, and provides
references to a couple of relevant studies.)

 

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