Department of Pediatrics with Clinical Assessment Unit, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw, Poland.
A worrying increase in the number of measles cases has been noted recently in Poland, which may have to do with a decreasing proportion of children vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) in the second year of life (<95%). For many years, MMR vaccination in children has been associated with a fear of allergy to eggs. This study seeks to define the reason and justification for postponing MMR vaccination in a population of children referred to the outpatient specialist immunization clinic. One hundred and thirty eight (138) children, mean 24.5 ± 26.6 months, with a history of past allergies, in whom the first-time MMR vaccination was delayed by family doctors for fear of allergic reactions, were enrolled into the study. The mean delay in a vaccine shot was 12.3 ± 26.9 months. There were 101 children who displayed a distinct allergy to the egg proteins, among other accompanying types of allergy. All of the 138 children were found eligible to receive MMR vaccine at the visit to the clinic. No early allergic responses were noticed in any of the children. There were negligible delayed allergic responses in six children, all from the egg allergy group. We conclude that MMR vaccination in children with egg allergy is safe and can be conducted on the outpatient basis without any specific precautions or safety measures. Delays in vaccination were unjustified and may jeopardize children's health. There is a need for insightful education of primary care doctors concerning of MMR vaccination safety, particularly when allergy is suspected, to avoid unduly and potentially harmful delays.
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