Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all, experts say

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Having an egg allergy is not a reason to avoid getting the 2010-2011 flu vaccination. According to new recommendations by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, anyone with a history of suspected egg allergy should first be evaluated by an allergist or immunologist for appropriate testing and diagnosis but can probably receive the vaccination.

Having an egg allergy is not a reason to avoid getting the 2010-2011 flu vaccination.

According to new recommendations by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, anyone with a history of suspected egg allergy should first be evaluated by anallergist or immunologist for appropriate testing and diagnosis but can probably receive the vaccination.

Matthew J. Greenhawt, M.D., M.B.A., clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Health System and James T. Li, M.D., Ph.D.,chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, co-authored the guidelines based on recent studies -- one conducted at the University of Michigan -- that show that most egg-allergic individuals can receive the flu vaccine safely under the care of their allergist/immunologist.

In the past, people with egg allergy were told not to get the influenza vaccine because the vaccine contained egg protein and could trigger an allergic reaction. Research in the past year shows that influenza vaccines contain only tiny amounts of egg protein. Clinical studies have shown that the vast majority of persons with egg allergies did not experience a reaction when immunized with the influenza vaccine.

The safety of administering egg-containing immunizations to egg-allergic children and adults received new interest during the recent global pandemic of the H1N1 Influenza A virus in 2009-2010.

The H1N1 Influenza A vaccine (H1N1), like the seasonal Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV) is grown on embryonated chicken eggs, which led to concerns that residual contamination of ovalbumin could provoke allergic reactivity in people with egg allergies. The 2010 influenza vaccine has incorporated the H1N1 strains. A single TIV is being offered this season.

Historically, though caution has been recommended in administering influenza vaccine to egg-allergic individuals, previous experience suggests that many people with diagnosed or suspected egg allergy can receive influenza vaccination successfully, if precautions are followed.

Examples of precautions that have been used include vaccine skin testing, a 2-step graded dose (10%, followed by 90% of the age appropriate dose after a brief observation period), or stepwise desensitization.

Given the urgency to protect children last year from the global influenza pandemic, investigative groups have re-examined the issue of the safety of this vaccine in egg-allergic people, and the field has advanced significantly since the last influenza season.

According to the new recommendations, the authors no longer recommend the practice of skin testing to the seasonal Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV), although it may be useful as an extra level of caution in cases where the patient has a documented history of a past allergic reaction to the vaccine.

Anyone with a history of suspected egg allergy should first be evaluated by an allergist or immunologist for appropriate testing and diagnosis. Patients with a confirmed egg allergy can then receive the vaccine safely using one of two protocols: a two-step graded challenge or a single, age-appropriate dose.

"It is not necessary to withhold influenza vaccination from egg-allergic patients, says Greenhawt. "Our recommendations provide two flexible approaches to vaccination. Each approach is backed with recent evidence that it is safe. Most allergists should be able to identify with one of our recommended approaches, and as such, be able to vaccinate their egg-allergic patients with confidence."

Greenhawt notes that the safety of these vaccines in individuals with severe egg allergy needs to be studied further.

A few concepts bear further study, such as the safety of these vaccines in individuals with severe allergy to egg, but it appears that most egg-allergic patients can safely receive influenza vaccination if desired, Greenhawt says. Greenhawt is the lead investigator on a follow-up study that looks at the vaccine's safety in severely egg-allergic patients.

Providers should no longer withhold the vaccine on account of a patient's egg allergy, and should feel comfortable selecting the precautionary strategies for administering the influenza vaccine, he adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. The original article was written by Margarita B. Wagerson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121440.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, October 18). Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121440.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121440.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins