Flu shots are now recommended for all children aged 6 months to 18 years – even if they have an egg allergy. In the past, children with an egg allergy were cautioned against receiving the flu vaccine because it could contain a small amount of egg protein; however, new research shows that it’s now safe for children with egg allergies to receive the flu shot without special precautions.
Depending on the severity of the egg allergy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends observing children allergic to eggs for 30 minutes after a flu shot. Having the shot under the care of a primary care provider (if the child’s typical reaction to eating eggs is only hives) or an allergist (if their usual reaction to eating eggs is more serious) is also advised.
A recent study published in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the official journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), supports the suggestion that flu vaccinations are safe for children with an egg allergy. The study observed 143 participants who had a history of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to egg ingestion and they all received the flu vaccine without complication.
This is great news, especially since an egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children.
The flu is responsible for the hospitalization of more than 21,100 children under the age of five each year, yet only two thirds of children receive the vaccination each year.
Please schedule an appointment for your child to get a flu shot. Mount Nittany Physician Group is currently offering flu shot clinics at various locations across the Centre Region. For a list of available locations, please visit mountnittany.org/fluclinics.
Most flu shots are covered by your health insurance, but please check with your insurance provider before getting your flu shot. If you are uninsured or prefer to pay for your flu shot, the cost is $35 (payable at time of service) at Mount Nittany Physician Group’s flu shot clinic.