Delaying immunization with diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine was not associated with reduced risk of food allergy but children with delayed DTaP were found to have less eczema and used less eczema drugs, according to a study published in Allergy.  

Routine vaccines can affect susceptibility to infections and allergic disease, explained study authors from Melbourne, Australia. They aimed to test whether a delay in vaccines containing DTaP reduced the risk of food allergy and other allergic diseases

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Infants aged 12 months were given skin prick tests to common food allergens. Sensitized infants were given oral food challenges to assess the food allergy status. Using vaccination data for children in the HealthNuts cohort obtained from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, researchers investigated the association between age at first DTaP dose and allergic disease.

Of the 4,433 total children, 109 (2.5%) received the first DTaP dose one month late (delayed). In general, delayed DTaP was not tied to the primary outcomes of food allergy (adjusted odds ratio [aORR] 0.77; 95% CI: 0.36–1.62; P=0.49) or atopic sensitization (aOR 0.66; 95% CI: 0.35–1.24; P=0.19). Regarding secondary outcomes, delayed DTaP was associated with reduced eczema (aOR 0.57, 95% CI: 0.34–0.97; P=0.04) and reduced use of eczema medication (aOR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24–0.83; P=0.01). 

Study findings suggest that that the timing of routine infant vaccines may affect susceptibility to allergic diseases. 

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