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Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all
Date:10/18/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Having an egg allergy is not a reason to avoid getting the 2010-2011 flu vaccination.

According to new recommendations by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, anyone with a history of suspected egg allergy should first be evaluated by an allergist or immunologist for appropriate testing and diagnosis but can probably receive the vaccination.

Matthew J. Greenhawt, M.D., M.B.A., clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Health System and James T. Li, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, co-authored the guidelines based on recent studies one conducted at the University of Michigan - that show that most egg-allergic individuals can receive the flu vaccine safely under the care of their allergist/immunologist.

In the past, people with egg allergy were told not to get the influenza vaccine because the vaccine contained egg protein and could trigger an allergic reaction. Research in the past year shows that influenza vaccines contain only tiny amounts of egg protein. Clinical studies have shown that the vast majority of persons with egg allergies did not experience a reaction when immunized with the influenza vaccine.

The safety of administering egg-containing immunizations to egg-allergic children and adults received new interest during the recent global pandemic of the H1N1 Influenza A virus in 2009-2010.

The H1N1 Influenza A vaccine (H1N1), like the seasonal Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV) is grown on embryonated chicken eggs, which led to concerns that residual contamination of ovalbumin could provoke allergic reactivity in people with egg allergies. The 2010 influenza vaccine has incorporated the H1N1 strains. A single TIV is being offered this season.

Historically, though caution has been recommended in administering influenza vaccine to egg-allergic individuals, previous experience sugges
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Contact: Margarita B. Wagerson
mbauza@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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