Allergy shots contain traces of specific antigens – the very things that trigger an allergic reaction from your immune system. By gradually increasing the dosage, your body develops an immunity and/or tolerance. But where do those antigens come from? And how does it go from raw material to an allergy shot?
Let’s use yellow jacket venom as an example. To make just a single batch of the raw material necessary for processing takes around 130,000 yellow jackets. Each is carefully dissected, its venom sac removed by hand and kept in a temperature-controlled environment. This step alone takes 220 hours. An additional 80 hours and 40 people are required for the product to make its way through clarification, sterile filtering, and aseptic filling. Along the way it must pass multiple quality assurance checks like potency, sterility, safety, and a battery of biological and chemical tests before it’s ready to ship.
Turning various source materials into high-quality, reliable allergenic extracts is a time-intensive, hands-on process that benefits not only from knowledge and expertise, but also experience. And HollisterStier Allergy has been doing it since 1921.