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Is the Flu Shot Safe for Egg Allergies?

By November 30, 2011

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Yes? No? In multiple doses?

It seems that every source has a different answer to the question of vaccines and egg allergies. Many studies have been done on the influenza vaccine and most have found that it is safe to administer to people with egg allergies. That doesn't mean your doctor will give you a flu shot if you ask for one - many doctors still will not administer the vaccine to people with egg allergies.

The NIAID clinical guidelines for food allergies do not recommend influenza vaccines to patients with a history of severe allergic reactions to eggs or chicken. However, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now say that egg allergy is no longer a contraindication to influenza vaccination, provided the Trivalent influenza vaccine is used, and patients are watched for 30 minutes after receiving the shot.

You may have to ask your allergist about receiving the shot in their office if your primary care provider does not provide flu shots to people with egg allergies. It is not a good idea to receive a flu shot at a mobile clinic or drugstore walk-in if you have a history of severe reactions to eggs.

Doctors now feel the benefits outweigh the risks of the flu shot.  Because many children with egg allergies also have asthma, they are at higher risk for complications from influenza, and it is especially important to protect them from the virus.

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