Egg allergies and the flu shot
Why flu shots are safe for children with egg allergies
When fall comes around each year, it’s time to think about everyone in your family getting a flu shot – for their protection and to do your part to boost community health. But, if your child has an egg allergy, you may be concerned about the egg protein in the flu shot.
Years back, there was a concern among health care providers and parents about a child with an egg allergy reacting negatively to the flu shot. Today, due to new research, experts no longer have these concerns. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement that all children with an egg allergy can receive the vaccine.
J. Andrew Bird, M.D., pediatric allergy specialist at Children’s Health℠, explains, “Several studies over the past five-plus years have shown there is a very negligible amount of egg protein in the flu shot.”
In the past, experts recommended administering the flu shot in a healthcare facility when the child had an egg allergy, and then closely monitoring him or her for 30 minutes. Dr. Bird says this half hour of monitoring is no longer necessary.
Benefits of an annual flu shot
Flu vaccines are vital to personal and community health. “Each child – regardless of allergy – should receive a flu vaccine,” urges Dr. Bird. He points out the following benefits of receiving an annual flu vaccine:
- Reduces flu illness
- Reduces hospitalization related to the flu
- Fewer days missed from school and work (for parents)
- Fewer deaths related to the flu
There are certain populations – including those who are immune-compromised and those with asthma – who should receive a flu vaccine because they are at higher risk of developing a severe illness, if they come in contact with the flu.
Other reactions to the flu shot
Dr. Bird points out that there are other potential allergens in the flu vaccine, besides the egg protein. “If your child has had a past reaction to the flu vaccine, that’s a separate issue and your child should be evaluated by an allergist.”
The specialists at Children’s Health can help identify and manage allergies in children. Contact us today to schedule an appointment
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