Allergy & Asthma Center, P.C., is an allergy practice based in Eugene and Corvallis, Oregon.
Our practice includes allergists:
Appointments are available in the following locations in Oregon:
An allergist is a physician trained to diagnose, treat, and manage asthma and allergies, whether they are related to or caused by foods, environmental factors (such as pollen), drugs, or topical substances. Conditions that an allergist commonly treats include the following:
For your information, each month we feature a topic of interest to our readers. Please read our current Topic of the Month below. To read previous articles that we have featured, please visit our Topic of the Quarter page.
Topic of the Quarter
Fact: Vaccines contain ingredients that allow the product to be safely administered. Any substance can be harmful in significantly high doses, even water. Vaccines contain ingredients at a dose that is even lower than the dose we are naturally exposed to in our environment. Thimerosal, a mercury containingcompound, is a widely-used preservative for vaccines that are manufactured in multi-dose vials. We are naturally exposed to mercury in milk, seafood, and contact lens solutions. There is no evidence to suggest that the amount of thimerosal used in vaccines poses a health risk. Many vaccines now produce single-dose vials, which has greatly decreased the use of thimerosal in vaccines. Formaldehyde, another vaccine ingredient, is an automobile exhaust, household products and furnishings such as carpets, upholstery, cosmetics, paint and felt-tip markers, and in health products such as antihistamines, cough drops, and mouthwash. The dose in vaccines is much lower than the amount we are exposed to in our daily life. Not all vaccines contain aluminum, but those that do typically contain about .125mg to .625 mg per dose. This, too, is much less than what the average person consumes in a day. An estimated 30 to 59 mg of aluminum is consumed by the average person daily, mainly from foods, drinking water and medicines.
Fact: Vaccines are very safe. Most vaccine reactions are usually temporary and minor, such as fever or sore arm. It is rare to experience a very serious health event following a vaccination, but these events are carefully monitored and investigated. You are far more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine. For example, polio can cause paralysis, measles can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and blindness, and some vaccine-preventable diseases can even result in death. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risk, and without vaccines many more injuries and deaths would occur. Science has not yet determined the cause of autism and SIDS. These diagnoses are made, though, during the same age range that children are receiving their routine immunizations. The 1998 study that raised concerns about a possible link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was retracted by the journal that published it because it was significantly flawed by bad science. There is no evidence to link vaccines as the cause of autism or SIDS.
Fact: Vaccine-preventable diseases have many serious complications that can be avoided through immunization. For example, more than 226,000 people are hospitalized from influenza complications including 20,000 children. About 36,000 people die from influenza each year. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce an immune response similar to natural infection, but they do not cause the disease or put the immunized person at risk of its potential complications.
Fact: Herd immunity occurs when a large population of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, reducing the change of an outbreak. Infants, pregnant women and immunocompromised people who cannot receive vaccines depend on this type of protection. However, if enough people rely on herd immunity as the method of preventing infection from vaccine-preventable diseases, herd immunity will soon disappear.
Fact: A vaccine causing complete disease would be extremely unlikely. Most vaccines are inactivated (killed) vaccines and it isn’t possible to contract the disease from the vaccine. A few vaccines contain live organisms, and when vaccinated lead to a mild case of the disease. Chickenpox vaccine, for example, can cause a child to develop a rash, but only with a few spots. This isn’t harmful, and can actually show that the vaccine is working. One exception was the live oral polio vaccine, which could very rarely mutate and actually cause a case of polio. However, oral polio vaccine is no longer administered in the United States.Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology