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The Flu Vaccine Is Safe for People With an Egg Allergy

 

It is safe for ALL people (6 months and older) with an egg allergy to get a flu vaccine every year. This is true no matter how severe your egg allergy was in the past. This includes people who have had anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to egg.

Five organizations recommend that people get the flu vaccine every year, even if they have an egg allergy. These organizations are:

  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI)
  • American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)

You do not need to be observed in a doctor’s office for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine if you have or had an egg allergy.

Some people with asthma can get the flu shot or nasal spray depending on age and if asthma is well-controlled. AAFA recommends the following:

  • Ages 6 months to 4 years: Get the flu shot.
  • Ages 4 and older: If your asthma is under control with no symptoms, you can get the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine.
  • Ages 4 and older: If you have recent asthma episodes or wheezing, get the flu shot.

A picture containing text, a child with a mask on, holding a teddy bear. The text reads: Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year with rare exceptions. #fightflu aafa.org/flu


The Risk of the Flu Is Greater Than the Chance of an Allergic Reaction to the Vaccine

The chance of getting a serious illness from the flu is much higher than the chance of an allergic reaction. And these serious illnesses, like pneumonia, can cause hospitalization or death. If your child also has a chronic disease like asthma, they are at an even higher risk for flu-caused illnesses.

While the 2020-2021 flu season was historically mild, the 2021-2022 flu season is expected to be more active.

If you’ve been holding out on getting the flu vaccine, it’s not too late. Flu season is just starting and will continue through the spring. There is still time to protect your family. The important thing to remember is an egg allergy is not a reason not to get the flu vaccine.

Medical Review October 2021 by David Stukus, MD

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  • A picture containing text, a child with a mask on, holding a teddy bear. The text reads: Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year with rare exceptions. #fightflu aafa.org/flu: A picture containing text, a child with a mask on, holding a teddy bear. The text reads: Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year with rare exceptions. #fightflu aafa.org/flu

Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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Comments (4)

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Hi

To give additional context, the CDC has not updated several publications yet on vaccinations. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't agree - they just may move slower.  For the past 6 years, we have seen this to be the case specifically with this egg allergy / flu vaccine issue. The health organizations update their recommendations first based on current research, and the CDC follows within a year or two.

All major allergy organizations and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree the flu vaccine can be given in any setting. It doesn't require supervision by your physician/allergist, etc. So, unless there are other medical conditions to consider, kids with egg allergies can get the flu shot at any location, without extra precautions.

And yes, the universal recommendations are that everyone receive a flu vaccine. Even in years when the vaccine may be less effective (due to the strains that outbreak that year), people who were vaccinated have lower rates of serious complications (or even death). Children and especially those with asthma are at great risk of flu. So, the trace contents of the flu vaccines (how much egg can be found in the vaccine) AND the threshold (how much egg does it take to trigger an allergic reaction) have been studied for years. It has been repeatedly found that the flu vaccines contain traces below the threshold. So egg allergy is no longer a reason to avoid the flu vaccine.  Now, there are other reactions that can happen (some people react to other components of the vaccine like the gelatin or antibiotics) - so anyone who has ever had anaphylaxis after receiving a flu shot should consult with physician as they may not be able to get the flu vaccine.



Hope this helps~



Melanie Carver
Chief Mission Officer
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Kids With Food Allergies is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. KFA and AAFA are committed to teaching parents and families how to prevent and treat severe allergic reactions in order to save children's lives.

This education is only possible from generous donations from our supporters.

Kathy P.  Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it. Again, common sense is simple.  If we must go to a medical facility because there is a risk of allergic reaction for my child with egg allergies, there is still a risk posed to him that is not there for those of us without egg allergies.   It really is very simple.  I'm pro vaccine but this is clearly a push for everyone to receive the flu vaccination 

@Deb Cip - the AAP, AAAAI and ACAAI have removed the increased precautions (like vaccine testing, extra observation or being done in an allergist’s office). The CDC is has relaxed their recommendation to remove some extra precautions, but are still recommending a medical facility able to treat an allergic reaction. It's always best to discuss with your own doctor to get their recommendation based on your child's history.

We continue to be told that the flu vaccine is perfectly safe for those with egg allergies, yet they must go to a medical facility to receive it.  If it were just as safe my child could get the shot with me at CVS. 

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