Asthma prevalence and exacerbations in children: is there an association with childhood vaccination?
Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2008 Nov ;4(6):687-94. PMID: 20477118
Infections and vaccinations may have a potential role in the normal maturation of the immune system, in the development and balance of regulatory pathways, and in the development and exacerbations of asthma. Asthma exacerbations often result from respiratory viral infections, and, while vaccination towards common viral infections may reduce the occurrence of such exacerbations, there has been concern that vaccinations can increase the risk of asthma. Current studies show that childhood vaccines, including inactivated influenza vaccine, are generally safe. However, there is some concern regarding possible exacerbations in infants or children with frequent wheezing or persistent asthma who are given live-attenuated influenza vaccination. Although severe allergic adverse events attributable to vaccination are extremely rare, all serious allergic reactions should be further assessed to detect the likely causative vaccine component, such as egg protein or gelatin. The risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the risks of allergy and asthma exacerbations. Therefore, childhood vaccination should remain an essential part of child health programs and should not be withheld, even from children with asthma or those predisposed to allergy.