New Flu Vaccine Guidelines Issued for Patients With Egg Allergy

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The nasal spray vaccine provides good protection for children against influenza and is most effective if given before flu starts to circulate. The CDC now recommends that almost all Americans older than six months get a flu shot, with an emphasis on young children, elderly adults and those with chronic illnesses.

The practice parameter update makes a strong recommendation indicating that individuals with an egg allergy, regardless of how severe those allergies are, should receive the flu vaccine.

For years, people with an egg allergy have been told to avoid or take special precautions when getting a flu shot because most influenza vaccines are grown in eggs and contain a tiny amount of egg protein.

However, now the Joint Task Force On Practice Parameters says that people with egg allergies don't need to take special precautions.

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Greenhawt, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital Colorado, estimates that egg allergy affects 2% of children in the United States.

The guidelines are the result of an analysis of 28 studies involving 4,315 egg allergic patients, including 656 patients with a severe egg allergy. The new guidelines reinforce the fact that the flu vaccine is safe and effective for everyone - even those with egg allergies.

"We have been seeing an increase since the fall in those numbers, but they've been stable in the last couple of weeks", said Laura Bourns, a public health physician. "But it's going to continue through January and February, so get your flu shot as soon as you can".

Khan said there is also an intranasal spray version of the vaccine for those who don't want the needle.

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Anaphylaxis - a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction - "can occur rarely after the administration of any vaccine to any patient at a rate of approximately 1 per million", according to research conducted by Dr. John Kelso, an allergist and immunologist at Scripps Health, who co-authored the new guidelines.

Dr Atherton said: "We know that children are super-spreaders of germs".

The health district likely won't hear about someone missing work or school for a week because of the flu virus, Patterson said. "It's a very important vaccine to get every year".

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