(updated 8/2011)Many immunization drugs are made with allergens. Whether it be corn, soy, beef, egg, milk, lactose, MSG, or yeast, the risks of getting the shots may or may not be worth it.
First, let me address why to immunize..
Immunizations started as a way to fight diseases before they could become epidemics. Most immunizations are for diseases known to kill, or severely maim humans. Many are for diseases which are highly communicable. Thus all states require immunizations in order for a child to attend school. You can get exemptions, but I'll address that hassle later.
It is important to consider the risks of not immunizing as well the risks of immunization. There is a good informative article on immunizations at Quackwatch.org, which talks about the importance of immunizing which the writers at Quackwatch will probably think the rest of my article here to be "quackery"..
For recommended list of vaccinations/immunizations go to the CDC:
Child Immunization Scheduler
Also at the CDC, make sure to check out the VIS or vaccine information statements which answer many questions about what the disease is that the vaccine will try to prevent, when to get it, what to expect, etc.
Now onto the really scary stuff.
Many vaccines/immunizations use fillers, carriers, etc to get the actual vaccine/immunization into the body in a viable way. Which means, you may have to decide whether to take the chance of getting a disease which might kill you or getting the vaccine which might kill you.
That is why I'm writing this.. Its better to be educated ahead of time, and know your risks, so you're prepared.
Getting ahold of the ingredients of an injection ahead of time, may be impossible as most health care providers who perform these injections are not well versed in allergies and probably won't have what you need to know. So the more you know before you go in, the better off you'll be. If you have a reliable cooperative doctor, you may be able to get this information (vaccine insert) ahead of time to check with the manufacturer about possible allergens.
Check this PDF (you'll need Adobe Reader - a free software) for a list of ingredients in immunizations, to see if your child may be at risk for a severe allergic reaction. Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary see also this PDF.
You'll also want to check the CDC's contraindications chart.
In case of a severe reaction, contact the your doctor and CDC. A Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System form needs to be filed. You can contact the CDC about this at 1-800-822-7967.
There is also a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ( 1-800-338-2382 ) which is to help provide assistance for those having adverse reactions. More information about filing a claim can be found at their site: http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/
If you read through the Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary (also PDF) or the CDC's contraindications chart and you want to get out of having a vaccine, you're going to want to get the ball rolling and be prepared ahead of time.
You will want to call your local or state health department's immunization program. They should be able to provide you with forms you'll need to have filled out. There are usually two reasons for exemptions on this: Religious reasons, Health Reasons. Health reasons usually require a doctors signature or statement.
Your child's school will also need to be notified and proper forms filled out.
More Information links about Vaccines and Immunizations:
Mercury Vaccines? (also contains manufacturer names for possible contact)
Australian Site: Ingredients & Purpose in Immunizations. Vaccine Components & Constituents
Anti-vaccine information with a Christian oriented religious vaccine waiver
More information about getting a waiver to avoid a vaccination:
How to legally avoid unwanted immunizations
Immunizations and Gut Disorders - possible connections