Flu season is just around the corner not only here in the Salt Lake Valley, but nationally as well. An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of older, with few exceptions. Every year, the flu vaccine composition is updated and 2022-2023 is no different. As allergists, we get asked if egg allergic patients can receive their annual flu vaccine.
Short Answer: Yes
Studies have shown that even individuals with confirmed egg allergy can safely receive the fu vaccine. 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 require for the administration of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic patients, regardless of severity of allergy.
Patients with an egg allergy of any severity, including anaphylaxis should receive the influenza vaccine. The amount of egg in the vaccine is minimal. However, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends that patients with a history of severe egg allergic patient should be vaccinated in a medical setting that has a healthcare provider who can “recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.” Having an egg allergy is not a contraindication for receiving the influenza vaccine. A recent CDC study found the rate of anaphylaxis after all vaccines is 1.31 per one million vaccine doses given. In fact, guidelines now that state that it not necessary to ask about egg allergy prior to administration of any influenza vaccine, including on screening forms. Patients/parents should tell providers if they or their child have had an adverse reaction to a prior dose of the flu shot though.
It is still recommended to get vaccinated prior to flu season. The recommended timing per the CDC is still around September or October. However, if you are not able to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May. Most people only need one dose for the season, although there are exceptions. New this season, there are 3 flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older:
There is no preferential recommendation for people younger than 65 years. Please discuss with your primary care provider or one of us here at Allergy Associates of Utah if you have questions or concerns regarding eligibility.
Allergy Associates of Utah is an allergy, asthma, and immunology specialty clinic serving the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area with 2 convenient locations in Murray and West Jordan. Led by specialists Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, the practice strives to help people of all ages and background achieve success. Request an appointment by phone or online at either Allergy Associates of Utah location for expert allergy and immunology care today.