If you or someone you know has an egg allergy, you may be worried about getting a flu shot. Especially since they contain a small amount of egg protein. But, are flu vaccines safe for people with egg allergies?
The Shot and the Egg
So, what is the real story with eggs and the flu shot? Most flu shots are made using an egg-based technology. Because the shots are created, in part, in an egg they contain small amounts of egg proteins. The CDC has said that a severe allergic reaction is unlikely in people that are allergic to eggs. Likewise, a CDC study showed that the rate of anaphylaxis is 1.31 per one million vaccine doses.
In a separate study, experts looked at over 4,000 people with egg allergies who had taken the flu shot. There was no evidence of a serious reaction from any of the individuals.
Lastly, if you are still concerned about the trace egg proteins in flu vaccines there is an alternative. There are 2 egg-free flu vaccines available. They are approved for use in adults.
While experts say that the risks are minimal for people with egg allergies, you should still approach this vaccine with caution. Especially if you had a severe egg allergy reaction related to the vaccine in the past. The CDC says that if you have only experienced hives after receiving the shot, you should still receive it.
Minor allergic reactions can range from a stuffy nose to a tingling sensation in your mouth. Minor symptoms can be treated with a mild antihistamine. If you experience more serious reactions than this in the past, you may want to ask your doctor about an egg-free version of the shot.
Areflu vaccines safe for people with egg allergies? Yes, they are. The egg proteins are so minimal that it rarely elicits a severe reaction. Also, if you are still worried, there are egg-free versions of the flu vaccine available now.