Flu shot now recommended for people with egg allergies: 3 things to know

Updated guidelines now recommend people with egg allergies obtain an annual flu shot without any special precautions.

Here are three things to know.

1. The Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters developed the new guidelines, which have been published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

2. Previous recommendations for individuals with egg allergies seeking a flu shot included special precautions. Most influenza vaccines are grown in eggs and contain a small portion of egg protein. To generate the new guidelines, the task force took into consideration recent research that has shown influenza vaccines do not carry enough egg protein to spur an allergy response in patients with even the most severe egg allergies.

3. The updated guidance eliminated the following precautions, among others:

  • Those allergic to eggs should see an allergy specialist for the flu shot
  • The observation period after the flu shot for these patients should be extended
  • Providers should ask about egg allergy before administering the vaccine

"When someone gets a flu shot, healthcare providers often ask if they are allergic to eggs," said Matthew Greenhawt, MD, chair of the ACAAI Food Allergy Committee and lead author of the new guidelines. "We want healthcare providers and people with egg allergy to know there is no need to ask this question anymore, and no need to take any special precautions. The overwhelming evidence since 2011 has shown that a flu shot poses no greater risk to those with egg allergy than those without."

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