Antibiotics are added to inhibit bacterial growth and may include neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin, kanamycin and gentamicin. They can trigger allergic reactions that range from mild to life-threatening and a known allergy to any of these is a contra-indication to having a vaccine that has them added.

  • Gentamicin may damage kidneys or nerves when injected and has been associated with hearing loss, dizziness, numbness, tingling, twitching and seizures. Allergic reactions include shortness of breath, hives and fainting. Other reported side effects are abdominal cramps, rash, nausea and vomiting.
  • Vaccine manufacturers Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, state that neomycin should only be given orally or topically, and in small amounts because of its toxicity when absorbed through the skin.53

53 Merck Manual, Merck Sharpe and Dohme

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