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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
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