Pediatricians Say Kids with Egg Allergies Should Now Get the Flu Shot
New Recommendations for Influenza Immunization
Doctors agree that nothing fights off the flu better than the vaccine, including all children 6 months and older.
And thanks to recommendations, based on research, that includes children who are allergic to eggs.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the rate of anaphylaxis after all vaccines is 1.31 per one million doses given.
Based on guidelines from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, people with egg allergies no longer need to be observed for an allergic reaction for 30 minutes after receiving a flu vaccine. It is now recommended that people with a history of severe allergic reaction to egg (any symptom other than hives) can now be vaccinated in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting, under the supervision of a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
"All children with egg allergy of any severity can receive an influenza vaccine without any additional precautions beyond those recommended for all vaccines," the AAP wrote in the September 2018 edition of Pediatrics as part of its "Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2018-2019."
Backing up the AAP and CDC, is new research in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, which found the flu shot to be safe and recommended its use for people who are allergic to eggs.
Jason Terk, M.D., a Cook Children’s pediatrician, said previous recommendations on egg-allergic individuals not receiving a flu vaccine were based on the fact that most of the flu vaccine currently available is created from viral cultures in chicken embryos. Experts theorized there was a risk because of the concern that small amounts of the egg that the viral cultures come from could end up in the vaccine.
“After years of study and observation, it was found that no significant increased risk for reactions occur in egg-allergic people,” Dr. Terk said. “The recommendation to avoid flu vaccine for egg-allergic people has been removed. No medical intervention is without risk. But the risk of influenza and the complications arising from it far exceed the infinitesimal risk of influenza vaccination.”
If you have concerns, Dr. Terk said your pediatrician should be happy to answer questions about your child and why the flu vaccination should be given.
Get to know Jason Terk, M.D.
Dr. Terk is a Cook Children's pediatrician at Keller Parkway. Dr. Terk earned his medical degree from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minnesota. His interests include public policy advocacy for children's health issues, focusing primarily on vaccines. Dr. Terk is board-certified in pediatrics. New and exisiting Cook Children's Keller pediatrician office patients can make an appointment by calling 817-968-1200 or through the button below to access Cook Children's Patient Portal.