One of the innumerable complaints made about vaccination is that it “stresses the immune system,” and that this can lead to immune-system diseases, including allergies. Dr. Crislip at Science-based Medicine has already dealt with the notion of immune system overload, pointing out that our immune system is exposed to as many antigens in about a month of daily life as it is in the entire recommended childhood vaccination regime. Yet vaccine opponents continue to blame all sorts of health problems on damage to the immune system from vaccinations, including allergic diseases. A recent study in children challenges that claim.
Herbarth, O. World Allergy Organization International Scientific Conference (WISC) and Congress of the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunology. Abstract 1014. Presented December 7, 2014.
The study looked at about 2,200 children. In every group studies, including those considered at increased risk for allergies due to having parents with allergic disease, vaccinated children had LOWER rates of allergies than unvaccinated children.
As always, a single study is never the last word on any subject. And a small study in human children doesn’t rule out the possibility of some link between vaccination and allergies in dogs and cats. But in addressing concerns about potential adverse effects of vaccination, it is important we be guided by evidence, not mere theory or fear. There is now at least some evidence that vaccination not only doesn’t increase allergy risk but that it may be protective against allergies. Those who believe otherwise should bear the burden of providing evidence for their claims.