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Is It Safe for My Child with Egg Allergies to Have the MMR Vaccine?

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Updated February 28, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Is It Safe for My Child with Egg Allergies to Have the MMR Vaccine? Andreas Reh/Getty Images
Question: Is It Safe for My Child with Egg Allergies to Have the MMR Vaccine?
Answer:

The NIAID clinical guidelines for food allergies recommend that children with egg allergies receive the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Although the MMR vaccine is cultured in chick embryos, the amount of egg protein in the vaccine is very low. There have been several studies that have shown the vaccine to be safe for children who have a history of severe allergic reactions to egg.

Sometimes, the MMR vaccine is administered bundled with the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine -– at which point it is referred to as the MMRV vaccine. The varicella vaccine does not contain any egg protein, so the combined shot is also safe for children with egg allergies.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (AICP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend the MMR vaccine for children with egg allergies.

The expert panel that wrote the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) guidelines was made up of 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups, including prominent allergists who specialize in food allergies.

Sources:

James JM, Burks AW, Roberson PK, Sampson HA. Safe administration of the measles vaccine to children allergic to eggs. N Engl J Med 1995 May 11;332(19):1262-6.

NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States: Report of the NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Volume 126, Issue 6, December 2010

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