Children with severe egg allergy can safely receive a single dose of the seasonal influenza vaccine, a University of Michigan study finds.
None of the children with a history of anaphylaxis to egg suffered an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Because the vaccine is cultured in chicken eggs, special precautions were often taken when the vaccine administered to an egg-allergic child, including conducting preliminary skin tests and administering the vaccine in two half-doses. The study finds these precautions are unnecessary.
“[...] this study shows these children, all of whom either had anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction from egg, can tolerate the vaccine. That’s important because we know it’s crucial that children get a vaccine to avoid the flu, especially this year as we’ve seen such an increase in cases and severity. The benefits outweigh the risks”, says Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc, lead author of the study and assistant professor of allergy and immunology at the University of Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital.