Which vaccines do you have to skip if you are allergic to eggs?
Many people are surprised that the answer is that you probably don’t have to skip any vaccines.
Although some vaccines are made in eggs and may contain residual egg proteins, the latest studies show that they can safely be given to kids with egg allergies.
That wasn’t always the case though.
Some pediatricians and parents likely still remember when the recommendation for the MMR vaccine was that:
- Persons with a history of anaphylactic reactions (hives, swelling of the mouth and throat, difficulty in breathing, hypotension, and shock) following egg ingestion should be vaccinated only with extreme caution.(1989 MMR recommendation)
Of course, now, experts say that “Although measles and mumps components of the vaccine are grown in chick embryo fibroblast tissue culture, allergy to egg is not a contraindication to vaccination.”
Similarly, the warnings and recommendations about egg allergies and flu vaccines have changes over the years. From previous warnings about avoiding the flu vaccine, experts now say that:
- Persons with a history of egg allergy who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg should receive flu vaccine.
- Persons with a history of a severe egg allergy can still get a flu vaccine, but they should be vaccinated “in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting (including, but not necessarily limited to hospitals, clinics, health departments, and physician offices). Vaccine administration should be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.”
Recommendations about the yellow fever vaccine haven’t changed though. Talk to your pediatrician if your child has an egg allergy and needs the yellow fever vaccine for travel. You will likely need to see an allergist to get vaccinated.
For More Information on Vaccines and Egg Allergies:
- Vaccine Ingredients – Egg Products
- Ask the Experts: Precautions and Contraindications
- Ask the Experts about Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
- CDC – Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated ?
- Egg Allergy and Vaccines
- CDC – Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies
References for Vaccines and Egg Allergies:
Measles Prevention: Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) . December 29, 1989 / 38(S-9);1-18.
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