Can people with yeast allergies get vaccines?
Hepatitis B vaccines are made using baker’s yeast and residual quantities of yeast proteins are contained in the final product. Engerix-B® (GlaxoSmithKline) contains no more than 5 mg per ml and Recombivax HB® (Merck and Co.) contains no more than 1 mg per ml of yeast proteins. Two combination vaccines, Pediarix® and Twinrix®, that contain the hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix-B) also contain no more than 5 mg per ml. Pediarix combines hepatitis B with diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines; Twinrix, an adult vaccine, combines hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
The version of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine known as Gardasil® contains less than 0.007 mg of yeast proteins; the other version, Cervarix®, does not contain yeast proteins.
Severe allergic reactions (including hives, difficulty breathing or low blood pressure) have been reported after receipt of hepatitis B vaccine (about 1 case per 600,000 doses). However, allergy to yeast proteins does not appear to be the cause of these allergic reactions.
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Wiederman G, Scheiner O, Ambrosch F, et al. Lack of induction of IgE and IgG antibodies to yeast in humans immunized with recombinant hepatitis B vaccines. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1988;85:130-132.