Egg Allergy and Flu Shots
Many flu shots (including the H1N1 vaccine) contain no trace of egg protein, however some do. Some individuals with egg allergies can get a flu vaccine and some can not.
When deciding who would be a good candidate it is important to look at the history of reaction in the individual.
If the person has a history of mild reactions to egg they may tolerate the vaccine fine. If the person has a history of anaphylaxis to egg then the allergist and patient need to weigh the pros and cons of receiving or not receiving the flu vaccine.
It is possible to receive the flu vaccine in multiple smaller doses over a period of time for those with egg allergies, however this option is not right for everyone.
Another option is allergy testing to the flu vaccine to determine if the vaccine would potentially cause an allergic reaction.
If you are interested in the flu vaccine you should discuss your options with your allergist.
November 2011 Update
An allergist at Children’s Hospital Boston recently told us that the flu shot is safe for most egg allergic patients. There used to be concern regarding potential reaction, however any egg protein in the shot would be so small that reaction to the shot because of an egg allergy is rare.
Children with compromised immune systems (asthma and food allergies included) should get a flu shot.
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