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  • Writer's pictureDr. Sherry Barnett

Egg Allergy and Flu Vaccine

In the past, patients who had an egg allergy were advised not to get a flu vaccine or to see an Allergist to get one, but this recommendation changed years ago. Despite updated guidelines, many patients with egg allergy continue to avoid getting vaccinated. The CDC, the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics all state that no special precautions are required for the administration of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic patients no matter how severe the egg allergy. There is no longer a need for skin testing before vaccine, getting the vaccine in an Allergist’s office, or waiting longer than usual in the office after getting the vaccine.

While flu vaccines are manufactured using a process that involves the egg protein ovalbumin, all forms of vaccine contain less than 1 microgram per vaccine dose. This is a trivial amount of egg protein and very unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction in even the most sensitive patient. In fact, ovalbumin in influenza vaccines has never even been proven to cause reactions in egg allergic patients. Even more reassuring is that a recent CDC study found the rate of anaphylaxis after all vaccines, not just the flu vaccine, is 1.31 per one million vaccine doses given.

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