Peter Vadas MD, PhD

Allergist and Clinical Immunologist

and Medical-Legal Consultant 

Immunotherapy ("Allergy Shots")

Effective January 2011:

All forms of immunotherapy will be given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from

8:30 AM - 11:00 AM.

Schedules may change from week to week depending on Dr. Vadas's teaching and clinical responsibilities.  Please check with office staff or outgoing voice message (416.864.5777) for up-to-date information.

Venom immunotherapy

The schedule for dose escalation (build-up) is 9 weekly visits of approximately 1.5 hours per visit.

Three injections are given per visit at 30 minute intervals.  A maintenance dose is reached after 9 weeks, after which venom injections are given every 4 weeks during the first year; evey 6 weeks during the second year and every 8 weeks during years 3 - 5.  Most individuals will be able to discontinue venom injections after 5 years.  Epinephrine auto-injectors should be carried whenever stinging insects are active. 


Pre-seasonal Immunotherapy


The pre-seasonal vaccine for tree/grass pollens is a series of 7 injections given weekly for 7 weeks beginning the 2nd week of January.

The pre-seasonal ragweed vaccine (Pollinex-R) is a series of 4 injections given weekly for 4 weeks beginning the last week of June.


Adverse Reactions to Vaccines

Allergen immunotherapy is generally a safe and effective treatment for allergies to environmental allergens and to venoms of stinging insects.  However, as with all medical treatments, there may be side effects.  The side effects of immunotherapy ("allergy shots") are uncommon and may include localized swelling in the area of the injection as well as more serious reactions.  More serious reactions to vaccines may manifest as swelling in the throat or asthma-type symptoms with respiratory distress or with cardiovascular involvement which may range from a fall in blood pressure to chest pains, abnormal heart rhythms and anaphylactic shock.  These symptoms tend to come on shortly after the injection.  Patients must remain in the waiting room for 30 minutes after each injection for observation in the event of a reaction.

In patients receiving immunotherapy, any change in medications must be reported to the physician.  Some medications may increase the risk of severe reactions to allergy vaccines.

Your physician must be made aware of any delayed reactions to allergy vaccines.

Poorly controlled asthma increases the risk of reactions to allergy vaccines.  Asthma must be well-controlled to minimize the risk of reactions.