Formaldehyde as a fixitive in vaccines

Keith & Karen Herwig kherwig at
Mon Sep 9 14:07:53 EST 1996

Damien Rothstein wrote:
> In article <4v9k4i$hj1 at>, Bender at
> says...
> >
> >bcb56 at Bridges) wrote:
> >>
> >> From a medline abstract
> >>
> >> Enhancement of protective immune responses to Venezuelan equine
> >> encephalitis (VEE) virus with microencapsulated vaccine.
> >>
> >> Arthors: Greenway TE; Eldridge JH; Ludwig G; Sta
> >> as JK; Smith JF; Gilley RM; Michalek
> >>
> >> Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294,
> >> USA.
> >>
> >> Formaldehyde is used as a fixative in a vaccine and enhances the
> >> antibody response to the vaccine.  Other fixatives are also indicated
> >> as increasing the responsiveness to the vaccine.
> >>
> >> With that in mind is it possible for formaldehyde and other reactive
> >> chemicals to bind with other substances in the air and cause a immune
> >> response to those substances?
> >>
> >> Would there be any significant difference in the effect of substances
> >> inhaled and absorbed into the blood stream and those given by
> >> vaccination?
> >>
> >>
> >> Betty Bridges, RN
> >
> Im sorry but i thought formaldehyde / paraformaldehyde / formalin and
> their derivatives cross-linked proteins during primary and secondary
> fixation of tissues and as a consequence the protein antigenic
> determinants were lost/destroyed thus reducing the immune response to
> these determinants.
> However keeping in mind that the aldehydes have reactive groups for ANY
> proteins (even those linked to sugars and lipids) I do believe that these
> would react with proteins in the atmosphere (although i don't know why
> under a laminar flow hood these would be there) and hence induce an
> immune response (as long as there was the required "hapten-carrier
> effect" present to induce the response ie. there was a LOT of cross
> linking happening).
> vaccination is a direct injection into the body, ususally making its way
> into the peripheral lymphatic system in direct contact with the immune
> system, this way there is an immediate response to the same foreign body
> by this system. Inhalation of an aerosol has a delayed effect (unless its
> some kind of vasopressin or similar) on the immune system as the
> substance has to be processed through a longer pathway by the APC's of
> the immune system thus I suggest that inhalation gives a delayed response
> and would require a much higher dose than with injection/vaccination.
> Regards,
> Damien Rothstein BSc. Uni. Melb.(Australia)

Could the formaldehyde within a vaccination cause/contribute to an
adverse reaction?

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