People with Egg Allergies Shouldn't Worry About the Flu Shot, Guidelines Say

Posted December 20, 2017

Historically, people with egg allergies weren't able to take advantage of the same flu vaccinations that the general population can. An updated practice parameter from the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters stresses that people with egg allergy should receive their yearly flu shot, and that no special precautions are required. The updated practice parameters, which were written by American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Food Allergy Committee Chair Matthew Greenhawt, are based on dozens of studies that suggest the tiny amounts of egg protein found in a flu shot are not enough to trigger a unsafe reaction, even in people with a severe allergy.

In the most recent week numbers are available, 144 people went to the hospital with the flu. Flu seasons tend to happen in two different waves, each dominated by two different strains. Dr. Wu said they typically start to see flu cases diminish toward the end of April.

"Egg allergy primarily affects young children, who are also particularly vulnerable to the flu", Kelso added. Anaphylaxis can occur with any vaccine at an incidence rate of 1 per million regardless of the type of vaccine or the presence of an allergy. No one in the studies had a severe reaction.

Unfortunately a wave of flu illnesses has hit right before the holidays, Patterson said, meaning it will likely spread as people attempt to celebrate, not just in OH but other states.

"When the flu hits you, the average adult or child is down for several days", Patterson said.

The best ways to avoid the flu include staying away from people who you know or suspect may be sick; covering your mouth when you cough and nose when you sneeze; and washing your hands regularly - especially during the cold winter months. Experts say it's still not too late to get your 2017-18 shot.

"My understanding is there's definitely some open beds at this time, we have the capacity to open extra beds if needed still", Khan said. "It's a very important vaccine to get every year".