Updated
October 25th, 2017

Egg Allergies Should Not Stop Pediatric Flu Vaccinations

Severe reaction to the flu vaccine among egg allergic and non allergic children was 1.3 in a million

Flu season is here and so is the need to be protected. But, for many children with egg allergy, the flu vaccine has been cause for concern.

About 3 percent of U.S. children are allergic to egg, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These allergy symptoms range from relatively mild, such as hives, to more severe, including persistent vomiting, respiratory distress, and anaphylaxis.

Though the flu vaccine is processed with egg-based technology, it contains only a tiny amount of egg protein.

Until 2017, the CDC's recommendation for giving the flu vaccine to children with a more severe egg allergy, was to administer it in an allergist’s office.

A recent study conducted by the CDC found that the incidence of severe reaction to the flu vaccine among egg-allergic and non-allergic children was just 1.3 in a million.

‘Based on this study’s results, severe allergic reactions are extremely unlikely,’ said Hillary Gordon, MD, is a pediatric allergist at the Thomas Jefferson University campus in Philadelphia.

Given those findings, the CDC recommendations have been revised so that children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated in any inpatient or outpatient setting where the provider feels comfortable recognizing and managing allergic reactions.

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Additionally, the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics state that no special precautions are required for the administration of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic patients no matter how severe the egg allergy.

The CDC recommended that the trivalent formulation influenza vaccines for the U.S. 2017-2018 influenza season contain the following:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Hong Kong /4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage).

Also, the committee recommended that quadrivalent influenza vaccines contain the above three strains and the following additional B strain:

  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage)

Most pharmacies in the USA offer several FDA approved flu vaccines.

The cost varies depending upon your insurance and which state you live.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.