The risk of anaphylaxis to flu vaccines for egg allergic individuals may be much lower than previously thought

How to administer influenza vaccines to those people, especially children, with egg allergy, has been the subject of much debate over the last few decades. However, evidence now suggests that the risk of reaction from the vaccination, which contains egg protein, to egg allergic patients is much lower than previously thought. At first, paediatricians would avoid giving the vaccination to those with egg allergy, and later on they would only give the vaccination to those who had a negative skin test result to the vaccine. Recent studies however have demonstrated that either giving the vaccination in divided doses or single doses, in a controlled setting, has a low risk and removes the need for skin testing.

Scientists from the Dartmouth Medical Centre in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA, summarized their study by saying that the severity of the egg allergy, the egg content of the vaccine and the setting of the vaccination must all be taken into account by the doctor considering administering the vaccination.

Source: Current Opinion in Paediatrics

First published in October 2011


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