New Flu Vaccine Guidelines Issued for Patients With Egg Allergy

Hamilton Health Sciences is planning for higher volume visits due to the flu season says Sarah Khan the associate director of infection and control

Flu activity in OH has become widespread, the state's highest designation, almost a month earlier than past year and has resulted in a number of hospitalizations in Clark County already.

The season's first flu-related death was reported last week.

"When someone gets a flu shot, health care providers often ask if they are allergic to eggs", says allergist Matthew Greenhawt, MD, chair of the ACAAI Food Allergy Committee and lead author of the practice parameter. Past year a total of more than 8,600 flu-associated hospitalizations were reported statewide.

Eggs are used in the vaccine-manufacturing process to incubate the viral strains, Bergen explains, which leaves trace amounts of egg in the resulting flu shot.

"We are still wanting people to get the vaccine, simply because there are still some strains that can be prevented". "The overwhelming evidence since 2011 has shown that a flu shot poses no greater risk to those with egg allergy than those without". 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.

Historically, people with egg allergies weren't able to take advantage of the same flu vaccinations that the general population can.

Last year, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both relaxed their flu shot guidelines for patients with egg allergies. The new guidelines reinforce the fact that the flu vaccine is safe and effective for everyone - even those with egg allergies.

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Health officials say an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months and older is the best prevention against the getting the flu.

One of the main concerns with any vaccine is a severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis.

The researchers concluded that someone who is allergic to eggs is not at an increased risk of experiencing an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine.

"Our summer was very busy, so the adult side has been having surge issues longer standing that are beyond flu", she said.

"That doesn't rule out that somebody might react to the influenza vaccine", Greenhawt said.

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

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