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Pediatricians from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center say even though the flu vaccine contains egg protein, most children with egg and other food allergies can be immunized safely with a few basic precautions. Children with established diagnoses of severe egg allergy should not be immunized without consulting a pediatric allergist. But in most cases, even these children can be vaccinated safely after a skin-prick test to the vaccine itself to gage the risk for a reaction. Children with suspected yet unconfirmed allergies and those with mild egg allergy usually can be vaccinated in their pediatrician’s office. Children with known allergies can be given anti-allergy medications, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids, before vaccination to help ward off or lessen an allergic reaction.
If your child has an egg allergy, talk with his pediatrician about whether he should receive the flu vaccine, which is grown in chicken eggs. Experts say that people with a severe allergy to eggs should not be vaccinated without first consulting an allergy specialist.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children with a mild egg allergy can usually receive the flu vaccine at their pediatrician's office. Those with more severe allergies may still be able to safely receive the vaccine if supervised by a health care professional with experience dealing with egg allergies.
Children are at risk of developing severe complications from the flu, so talk about vaccination with your pediatrician.
In many flu vaccines, the trace amounts of egg protein are not enough to cause a reaction. However, in some flu vaccines, there is a risk for a potential allergic reaction. You should talk over your options with your doctor to be sure. In some cases, your allergist may be able to give your child a specific test that can show if an allergic reaction will likely occur after the vaccination.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.