Flu season is here and so is the need to be protected by getting vaccinated. Most types of influenza vaccine contain a very small amount of egg protein, so before giving it health providers often ask if you are allergic to eggs. But does being allergic to egg mean you should not get the vaccine?
Recent studies have shown that even individuals with confirmed egg allergy can safely receive the flu vaccine. 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 state that no special precautions are required for the administration of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic patients no matter how severe the egg allergy. In fact, guidelines now state that it is not necessary to ask about egg allergy prior to the administration of any influenza vaccine, including on screening forms. Patients and parents should tell providers if they or their child have had an adverse reaction to a prior dose of influenza vaccine itself. The normal precautions for giving any vaccine to any patient should be followed, namely recognizing that about one in a million doses of any vaccine results in a serious allergic reaction, and vaccine providers should be prepared to recognize and treat such reactions.
To the Point
Studies show that flu vaccines can be safely administered to egg-allergic individuals.
Learn more about food allergies.
This article has been reviewed by Andrew Moore, MD, FAAAAI