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 contains less than 0.007 mg of 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.
Barbaud A, Tréchot P, Reichert-Pénétrat S, et al. Allergic mechanisms and urticaria/angioedema after hepatitis B immunization. Br J Dermatol. 1998;139:916-941.
Brightman CA, Scadding GK, Dumbreck LA, et al. Yeast-derived hepatitis B vaccine and yeast sensitivity. Lancet. 1989;i:903.
Hudson TJ, Newkirk M, Gervais F, Shuster J. Adverse reaction to the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1991;88:821-822.
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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.