People with egg allergies may be able to receive flu vaccine - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

People with egg allergies may be able to receive flu vaccine


Since Oct. 1, more than 2,800 cases of the flu have been confirmed statewide, according to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

Many people are rushing to get the vaccine, but those with an egg allergy have some hesitation.

The flu vaccine contains a small amount of egg protein.

Mellissa Yingst's daughter Madi, 7, has an egg allergy.

For years, Yingst was advised not to give Madi the flu shot.

"She was sick all the time," Yingst said. "When it was going around at school, she'd come home with it and she would just be miserable. As soon as she'd get over it, she'd come back to school and come right back home with it."

If Madi eats anything made with high egg content, she violently vomits, Yingst said.

The flu vaccination is culminated on fluid from chicken embryos, so it contains a small amount of egg protein.

"Part of the risk was a presumed risk because of the way the vaccine was manufactured. Vaccines 10 years ago had higher amount of egg content in the vaccine than it does now because they've gotten ways to manufacture vaccine with less residual egg protein," said Dr. Douglas Nelson, an allergist, immunologist and pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System.

There are very specific guidelines for receiving the flu shot if you have an egg allergy, Nelson said.

"If people can tolerate eating any amount of egg, they're able to get the vaccine through their regular doctor," Nelson said. "If people have had a history that's no more than hives, they're also able to receive the vaccine through their regular doctor's office."

It's only when a person has a more severe reaction than hives, that they should see an allergist if they want the vaccine, Nelson added.

Madi has already received her first dose of the flu vaccine. So far, she's had no reaction.

Some children, younger than nine years of age, need two doses of the flu vaccine to be protected, said the Center for Disease Control.

If she doesn't have a reaction after her second dose next week, Madi will be a little bit more protected.

"That's what I'm hoping for," Yingst said. "That she doesn't get the flu like that anymore."

The CDC reports allergic reactions to the flu vaccine are very rare. But, a severe reaction to any vaccine component, like egg, may be reason enough not to get the vaccine.

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