Food allergies as they pertain to the COVID-19 vaccine?


Juts some thoughts posted on Facebook at Twitter that I thought I’d also share here. I feel like its been a long time since I posted any food allergy content.

In case I ever make the FB stuff not public:

As a proponent of Food Allergy advocacy, this is concerning. You would think that responsible reporting from CNN would include the triggering protein(s) of those that suffered an anaphylactic reaction. I call shenanigans on it not being immediately obvious, let alone warranting further research or investigation.

From what I have read about allergies and vaccinations in the past, sometimes they contain egg protein. Personal results can vary… much like some people with peanut allergies report deep fryers with refined peanut oil trigger a reaction, and others seem to not have any ill effects.

Is this that same type of issue, or have new ingredients or a new combination of ingredients been introduced?

Obviously this is something that would be sussed out and analyzed over time in a clinical trial with a more traditional timeline.

I look forward to keeping an eye on this and how it progresses. Is it approx 1 in 30 kids any more have a food allergy? This could potentially affect a large portion of the population.

Is a vaccine a more viable solution than actual produced human antibodies, or are they one-in-the same here?

Keeping an eye on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the others to follow.

While by no means a scientist of medical professional, I find this stuff fascinating.

I also would hope the comments here don’t devolve in to anti-vax or mandatory-vax sentiments.

#FoodAllergies #FoodAllergy #Covid19

And a link to the original article: Allergy warning for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after UK health workers with allergy history suffer reaction

So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

This is why we need epi-pens in schools!


Finally, some good food allergy related news from a school surrounding the use of epinephrine auto-injectors…

English: Adult (0.3mg) and pediatric (0.15mg) ...

Epi-Pens to the rescue!

I for one was growing tired of the tragic stories.  Jared Smyth and his school had an action plan, and it saved his life.  This is how all these types of stories should end!  Congratulations to all involved!  The kid himself, the school nurse, the parents, the administration, the hospital, and the media for covering good news.

Sadly, I can only find one source for the article, while there were a plethora for Ammaria Johnson & Katelyn Carlson.  More media outlets need to pick this up & run with it!  Get the word out there that having epi-pens in schools is a great thing!  Of course, it always helps to educate your child on not taking any food from others… but as evidenced, it’s not always that easy, and accidents do happen.

The Allergic Kid | No More Dead Children


You read my post about Ammaria Johnson, right?  Well, here’s another excellent blog that you need to check out on the subject:

Why?  Because it’s important to hit this message hard, and repeat it until everyone’s sick & tired of hearing it.

A small excerpt:

Failure to give Benadryl, no Epi-pen on hand and the outrageous decision to call a parent instead of 911 when a child’s airway is closing?  I don’t even have words for this school’s heinous behavior.  What part of “life threatening medical condition” did they not understand?  These people shouldn’t be entrusted with the care of a gerbil, let alone a child’s life.

And what kind of self-serving, we’re-not-responsible-for-the-death-of-the-child-in-our-care, preparing-for-a-lawsuit garbage was the school district trying to serve up with its statement that this girl died of a “pre-existing medical condition”?  Here’s the county’s own guidelines for managing food allergies which the school failed to follow.  (Thanks to @IknowTiffany for the link.)

Couldn’t agree more.

Another Food Allergy Tragedy: Ammaria Johnson


There are many posts out there already in the Food Allergy community about a tragedy involving a peanut allergy that happened only yesterday in Richmond Virginia.  I won’t rehash the details, but I would like to provide some links to articles that are worth reading:

I felt the need to post because we obviously need to reach beyond the Food Allergy community.  If you’re reading this, I ask you to reblog, repost, tweet, +1, post your thoughts about the situation, repost one or all of the above articles, tell your friends and neighbors… use social media and good old fashioned word of mouth to spread the word.

This issue is bigger than the bullying, bigger than the politics, bigger than “my kid needs his peanut butter sandwich”.

SCHOOLS NEED TO HAVE EPI-PENS ON SITE, AND NURSES, TEACHERS, STAFF MUST BE PERMITTED TO ADMINISTER THEM.

There is no longer an excuse for anything getting in the way of this.  This is not a single isolated incident kind of thing any longer.

From WTVR:

“She has an allergy action plan at the school,” said Pendleton, which authorizes the school to give her Benadryl during a reaction. “They didn’t do that,” she said.

At the beginning of this school year, the mother said she tried to give the clinical aid an Epipen for emergencies, but she was declined and told to keep it at home.

According to Chesterfield County School policy parents are supposed to provide the school medication for children with allergies.

This is unacceptable.

Write to your senator now.  Write all of your elected officials frequently.  Ask them to endorse a bill like this, or any bill that comes up on the issue.

Administering a dose of epinephrine is not a 100% guaranteed life-saver, but imagine if lifeguards in school pools were asked not to administer CPR for drowning children?  We sure as hell need to do something.

If it’s your thing, please pray for the family, the teachers, students, emergency responders, and medical staff involved.

What are you waiting for?  Read those articles, & re-post now!

EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...

Epi-Pen

:: AllergyEats/AllergyFreeShop :: Can Restaurants Be Made Safe For The Food Allergic? ::


I read an article this morning that I really enjoyed, so I thought I’d share.

The AllergyEats blog sums it up best…

I think it is a valuable read for those of us who live with food allergies every day, but I also believe it makes a great primer for someone not familiar with food allergies – a grandparent learning about your newly-diagnosed child’s allergies, the mom-and-pop restaurateur that just doesn’t “get it,” the school administrator who is in denial, etc.

So, without further babbling, on to the main article:

Guest post – Can restaurants be made safe for the food allergic?

Or you can check out the original article here:

Can Restaurants Be Made Safe For The Food Allergic?

The most astonishing thing for me “6.9 million – number of Americans with seafood allergies”.

Where the hell are the rest of you?

Aller-G’s


…Saw some more cool tweets about allergies today, again from pnutfreeworld.  They all caught my eye, and put me in a slightly better mood.  I’m not allergic to peanuts, but a lot of other people out there are.  I’m allergic to shellfish, and all of us that suffer from severe allergies need to stick together… so I’ve been following allergy issues on the web more & more.  I thought I might share with the hopes that if you’re out there suffering form allergies, and you happen to stumble upon this blog… you’ll know that there’s a bunch of us out here… or if you have a friend or family member that suffers form allergies, this may offer you some insight into their world.

The first one that jumped out at me today, was this one…

Law Makes Allergies a Restaurant’s Responsibility, Too – A Massachusetts Regulation Requires Restaurants to Get Food Allergy Training

If you saw my blog the other day about the two thrilling tweets, this would be the conclusion.  Apparently it passed! I know… this is odd for me to celebrate.  Normally, I’m anti- anything that has to do with making more rules & regulations or expanding government.  But, this just hits too close for me on a personal level to not be behind it.  I just hope they go about it efficiently.

Basically, the law says that if you’re a customer, you need to speak up and inform the restaurant of your allergy, and if you’re a restaurant, it’s your responsibility to have all of your employees trained and certified on allergy safety and cross contamination issues.  I realize that this is not a fool-proof system, and that I don’t even live near Massachusetts, but it gives me hope that other states may one day follow suit.  I now have something concrete to write about to my local politicians… and say “hey, look… they’re doing something that makes sense”.

Sadly, the legislation doesn’t seem to point to chain restaurants… like Subway, where cross-contamination with the seafood sub is a major issue.  It does, however, give me hope that I will someday be able to dine in an upscale restaurant with no abnormal concern for my safety.

If you’ve read my trifecta of tirades on the food industry & cleanliness & allergy issues, (That’s 1, 2, & 3) then you know that there are others out there who think that implementing such training would not only be impractical, but it would be just not done at all or treated like a joke from all concerned parties.  I really, really hope that’s not the case once this is put into effect.  I would hope that this would be an issue that’s handled quite seriously… it is, after all, a life-or-death issue.

The second article’s title made me think, “damn right”…

Food on the road can be a minefield – Taking steps to minimize the risks from allergies

Now, this is from a Canadian publication, and they seem to have a lot more government regulation already… but I don’t really support banning things like they seem to want to do.  Education and training is what we need. This article is a nice list of websites and literature that you can look to for support in dining out while traveling abroad.

I’m going to have to look into these sites a little more, and see if there’s anything worth noting or sharing.

There are two not mentioned in the article that look promising… but they really need their databases updated if they’re going to be useful at all:  Can I Eat There? & Shellfish Free

I’m also hoping UrbanSpoon.com one day makes note of more than just gluten-allergy friendly restaurants… and picks up on the big 8.

This last one is cool on a geek front as well as an allergy front…

Peanut Allergy Blocker On The Way

The concept just blows my mind.  I’ve said before… even if I was given a cure tomorrow, I doubt I’d ever even want shellfish at this point… but at least I’d be able to eat food off of the same grill or out of the same fryer without hesitation or anaphylactic repercussions.

I’ve read a lot about the causes of allergies… and asked a lot of questions of doctors.  It’s amazing how much they don’t know… but this article is very enlightening, and it’s all broken down so it’s easy to understand:

Dr Suphioglu said that the work being done by his team also has potential benefits for all allergy sufferers. “Taking a step further back in how an allergic reaction occurs, we are also carrying out research into how we can prevent the allergen specific antibodies from being produced at all.

“In an allergic reaction, the body produces cell signalling molecules called cytokines to trigger the production of antibodies. If we can neutralise the cytokines involved with the allergic reaction, we can potentially block or reduce the production of the antibodies. In recent preliminary results we have successfully identified a substance that interacts with one of the key cytokines involved in the allergic reaction. We are now assessing the capacity of this substance to block or reduce antibody production in the allergic reaction.”

Dr Suphioglu is confident that his team’s allergy research work will result in better treatments for allergy sufferers. “I believe our research into understanding the molecular and allergenic properties of major peanut allergens together with our work on how to prevent or inhibit allergic reactions will contribute to the development of safer and more effective methods for peanut allergy diagnosis, prevention and treatment as well as benefit sufferers of other allergies.”

I’ve read a bunch of articles pertaining to the links between asthma and dust mite allergies and their relation to the severe shellfish allergies.  It’s really interesting stuff.  I hope all of these studies merge in the near future, and perhaps there will be an end to all my allergy-related rants!