Study To Find Out What’s Causing Allergic Reactions To Covid-19 Vaccines

A new study is set to launch looking at why a few rare cases of people have suffered from severe allergic reactions shortly after receiving mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is planning to launch the multi-center study working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and vaccine makers.

The aim of the research is to find out whether people with allergies are at any higher risk of a reaction than those without allergies. Researches also hope to identify the component of the vaccines most likely to be responsible for these potentially life-threatening incidents, known as anaphylaxis.

The study is expected to include several hundred people who have a history of severe allergic reactions to foods, medications or insect stings.
The vaccine will be injected under close medical supervision and set to begin in a matter of weeks.

The Teal Pumpkin Project Continues This Halloween

Although Halloween looks different this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Teal Pumpkin Project continues in 2020. The Teal Pumpkin Project initiative aims to raise awareness surrounding food allergies by making Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters while remaining mindful of the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“As families determine how to safely celebrate Halloween this year, FARE is reminding parents to make these celebrations as inclusive as possible for all children, including those with food allergies,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE.

The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages participants to place a teal pumpkin in front of their homes to show they have non-food treats available for children with food allergies or necessary dietary restrictions. Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat or sesame, which are among the most common allergens. Additionally, many miniature candy items do not have labels and may be formulated or manufactured differently than full-sized candies of the same brand, making it difficult to determine whether these items are safe.  To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit www.tealpumpkinproject.org.

Study: Spike in new nut anaphylaxis in children at Halloween and Easter

A new study looking at the link between peanut and tree-nut anaphylaxis in children and holidays found spikes at Halloween and Easter. The study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found that most were previously unknown allergies, calling for increased awareness http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200034.

“Identifying certain times associated with an increased risk of anaphylaxis could help to raise community awareness, support and vigilance,” write Dr. Melanie Leung, 4th-year medical student at McGill University and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, with coauthors. “This information would identify the best timing for public awareness campaigns to prevent allergic reactions.”

Researchers compared anaphylaxis at Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Diwali, Chinese New Year and Eid al-Adha.

The study included 1390 patients visiting participating pediatric emergency departments between 2011 and 2020 in 4 Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia. The median age of patients was 5.4 years and 62% were boys.

For peanut-triggered anaphylaxis, there was an 85% increase in daily average cases during Halloween and a 60% increase during Easter compared with the rest of the year. For anaphylaxis triggered by unknown nuts, there was a 70% increase during Halloween and Easter compared with the rest of the year. However, the researchers did not find an increase at Christmas, Diwali, Chinese New Year or Eid al-Adha.

“The difference in the anaphylaxis incidence among holidays may have been due to the social setting in which each holiday takes place,” write the authors. “At Halloween and Easter, children often receive candies and other treats from people who may be unaware of their allergies. The absence of such an association at Christmas may be because Christmas is a more intimate celebration among family members and close friends, who are more vigilant regarding allergen exposure.”

Canadian labelling may also be a factor, as individual packages of candies and snacks, which are exempt from labelling requirements listing ingredients, are popular at Halloween and Easter.

The authors suggest education and awareness may help reduce the risk of anaphylaxis.

“Our findings suggest that educational tools to increase vigilance regarding the presence of potential allergens is required among children with food allergies, their families and lay people interacting with children who have food allergies. Newer strategies targeting intervals associated with high anaphylaxis risk are required.”

Perth Picturesque in Teal

For the third consecutive year, Perth’s stunning Trafalgar Bridge triggered teal for Food Allergy Awareness Month from Friday the 15th to Saturday the 16th of May, 2020.

A very special thanks to all those at Perth City Council for their commitment to making this happen once again, as well as to our good friend Dr. Anthony Chaffee (pictured), who last year took time to visit Trafalgar Bridge. This year, he and all health care workers all around the world are working tirelessly to help keep us all safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We thank you and salute you all for your efforts!

TURN IT TEAL was created by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe, who founded ‘Turn it Teal’ in 2014. The aim of which was to light as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Month.
At TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness we are proud to have helped to make the initiative global with the lighting of the Sydney Town Hall in 2017,
being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness and have since lit Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Tasmania.

For more information about this initiative please visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org – Thank you.

Teal Time in Brisbane!

As Food Allergy Awareness Month rolled on, Brisbane lit up its beautiful Story and Victoria Bridges in teal to support those with food allergies, and help raise awareness.

Despite COVID-19, the two bridges dazzled and lit a teal beacon for those with food allergies. A special thank you once again to the team at the Brisbane City Council, who made this effort possible!

Another thank you to GlobalAAI.org for your continued support!

TURN IT TEAL was created by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe, who founded ‘Turn it Teal’ in 2014. The aim of which was to light as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Month.
At TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness we are proud to have helped to make the initiative global with the lighting of the Sydney Town Hall in 2017,
being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness and have since lit Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Tasmania.

For more information about this initiative please visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org – Thank you.

Tasmania Triggers Teal in 2020

Australia is all set to raise Food Allergy Awareness throughout May and will ‘Turn It Teal’ to shine a light on food allergies, which affect millions around the world.

This year, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, we welcomed aboard Launceston, Tasmania, who was the first city to switch on the teal lights for 2020 and illuminated the stunning Launceston Town Hall from May 1st to May 4th, 2020.

This was the inaugural year for Tasmania to join the initiative and we thank all at Launceston City Council who helped to make this happen.

TURN IT TEAL was created by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe, who founded ‘Turn it Teal’ in 2014. The aim of which was to light as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Month.
At TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness we are proud to have helped to make the initiative global with the lighting of the Sydney Town Hall in 2017,
being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness, and have since lit Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and now Tasmania.

For more information about this initiative please visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org – Thank you.

Turn It Teal This May

This year, despite the unprecedented disruption of COVID-19, TRIGGER AWARENESS will once again join with TURN IT TEAL to raise food allergy awareness.

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, a dedicated time to help increase awareness of food allergies and help to protect those at risk. TRIGGER AWARENESS will once again join with TURN IT TEAL to raise food allergy awareness by continuing to light prominent structures around the world in teal, the hue of food allergies.

This year Australia will continue to shine the teal spotlight in:

We welcome Launceston, Tasmania, which joins the initiative this year and will light up the beautiful Launceston Town Hall from May 1 – May 4, 2020.
Brisbane joined us in 2018 and this year will illuminate both its Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge on Monday, May 11.
Perth will put a teal spotlight on food allergy awareness for the third consecutive year by lighting its Trafalgar Bridge in teal on Friday, 15th and Saturday, 16th May.

TURN IT TEAL was created by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe, who founded ‘Turn it Teal’ in 2014. The aim of which was to light as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Month.
At TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness we are proud to have helped to make the initiative global with the lighting of the Sydney Town Hall in 2017,
being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness.

For more information about this initiative please visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org – Thank you.

Research – New clues in understanding how to prevent food allergies by breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers may be encouraged to eat eggs to help prevent babies from developing an egg allergy, according to new studies by researchers at The University of Western Australia.

Study leader Professor Valerie Verhasselt, from UWA’s School of Molecular Sciences, said the findings were important because in western countries up to 10% of children already have a food allergy at one year of age.

“Among high-risk population, one third are already sensitised to egg at 4 months of age and may experience severe allergic reaction if egg is introduced into their diet,” Professor Verhasselt said.

“Our study shows that protection could be induced through breastfeeding and before the introduction of any solid food to the child’s diet.”

The researchers were able to discover that some breastmilk components were more successful than others in preventing allergy.

“Ten years ago, we demonstrated in an animal model that you could educate the immune system of a baby to accept egg protein as well as protect the baby from egg allergy later on,” Professor Verhasselt said.

“Our new study shows for the first time that this may also happen in humans. We’ve found that cases of egg allergy in children are four times less likely when they have been exposed to breastmilk containing egg protein, compared to those exposed to breastmilk without detectable egg protein.”

Targeting house dust mites allergens in breastmilk may be an additional key to ensure food allergy prevention in breastfed children.

The team at UWA was also able to uncover that some mothers shed house dust mite allergens in breastmilk. House dust mite allergens are known to be responsible for respiratory allergies such as rhinitis and asthma.

“By conducting pre-clinical experiments, we demonstrated the very new concept that respiratory allergens in a baby’s gut may represent a risk factor for food allergies,” Professor Verhasselt said.

“Targeting respiratory allergens may be essential for prevention of egg allergy in breastfed children.”

Professor Verhasselt, who is also the Larssen-Rosenquist Chair in Human Lactology at UWA, said the studies, published in the journals Allergy and Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, showed researchers were on the path to preventing egg allergy through breastfeeding.

“Our data still needs to be confirmed in large randomised control trials to bring formal proof of this promising new approach of exposing babies to egg protein through breastmilk,” she said.

“Our research is aiming to find ways to prevent allergy and stop this modern world epidemic,” Professor Verhasselt said.

Old whooping cough vaccine could prevent food allergies in babies

A new Australian study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that rates of children with food allergies have risen exponentially since the late 1990s – around the same time a new whooping cough vaccine was rolled out nationally.

Studies conducted so far show that the older ‘whole cell’ whooping cough vaccine potentially trained babies’ cells and immune system against food allergies as well. The older ‘whole cell’ whooping cough vaccine was eliminated in 1999 and replaced with a new version, amid reports Australian babies were suffering minor side effects, including fever and pain where the needle was injected.

Lead researcher Professor Tom Snelling, from Curtin University and Telethon Kids Institute, said that while both vaccines were effective in protection against whooping cough, findings pointed to the whole cell vaccine providing the additional benefit of reducing the risk of serious allergies.

Researchers are putting the call out for 3000 Australian babies to take part in a carefully controlled trial to prove the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing allergies.

“Participants will be followed until they are 12 months old to confirm whether the whole cell vaccine truly helps to protect against food allergies in infancy and, if successful, a new vaccine schedule could form part of an effective strategy to combat the rise in food allergies,” Professor Snelling added.

For more info or to participate in the study, https://vaccine.telethonkids.org.au/ or email OPTIMUM@telethonkids.org.au.

Calls For Restaurants To Use Color Coded Plates To Prevent Allergies

Allergy Sufferers and their families are calling for new regulations that require restaurants to
have color-coded plates to represent each type of allergen, to significantly reduce the risk of severe
anaphylactic reactions. Many people are supporting the idea, but many restauranteurs and small buisiness owners are against the idea, calling it more “red tape” they would have to adhere to.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association executive Wes Lambert said they idea of mandating color coded plates is “absolute madness,” and that “Color-coded plates would mean that if someone ordered an allergy-free item and the restaurant had run out of the colored plate, they wouldn’t be able to serve the item.”

Other proposed ideas include a card that states allergens, that would be passed to the chef and the kitchen, and returned with the meal, “double-checking mechanisms” that make it impossible for the wrong plate to be served to the wrong person, and mandatory training for all food service workers, much like the safe alcohol practice laws.

A representative of Food Standards Australia New Zealand said it was reviewing food safety regulations and “working closely with the food industry, consumer groups and government … to look at ways to manage the risks associated with food allergens”.

 

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