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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2006 Oct;5(5):631-40.

Do vaccines modify the prevalence of asthma and allergies?

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  • 1Institute of Respiratory Health, University of Murcia, Pediatrics Pneumology Unit, Universitary Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain.


Epidemiological studies suggest the hypothesis that the increase in asthma and allergies in the industrialized world can be explained by a decline in the number of infectious diseases occurring during childhood. In the context of this 'hygiene hypothesis', is immunization in early life a risk factor for promoting allergic diseases? The majority of studies, especially those conducted with more extensive populations, have not found an increased risk, and although 'not finding an increased risk' is not the same as 'the non-existence of any risk at all', it seems that the evidence is tipped in favor of the absence of risk. Conversely, although some surveys have described a protective effect of vaccination, the majority refuted this result. If there is any effect, it is probably a weak one.

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