Children with egg allergies can safely receive flu shots

Researchers found that thousands of egg allergic children received injectable influenza vaccine without a reaction, according to a study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. While the current advisory recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Convention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to observe children allergic to eggs for 30 minutes after a flu shot, the study found that special precautions were not warranted. The study was conducted by researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "In a large number of research studies published over the last several years, thousands of egg allergic children, including those with a severe life-threatening reaction to eating eggs, have received injectable influenza vaccine as a single dose without a reaction," Kelso said. The study found that special precautions regarding medical setting and waiting periods after the administration of IIV to patients with egg allergies beyond precautions recommended for any vaccine are not needed. The researchers said language describing egg-allergic recipients as being at increased risk of complications should be removed from product labeling and guidelines. "The benefits of the flu vaccination far outweigh any risk," Kelso said. "As with any vaccine, all personnel and facilities administering flu shots should have procedures in place for the rare instance of anaphylaxis, a severe life-threatening allergic reaction. If you have questions or concerns, contact your allergist." Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies among children, but by age 16, approximately 70 percent of children outgrow the allergy. Influenza is responsible for the hospitalization of more than 21,100 children under the age of five annually in the U.S. Approximately two-thirds of children receive the flu vaccination each year.