Egg allergy no longer a contra-indication for influenza vaccine

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jan;120(1):49-52

Historically, patients with egg allergy have been told to avoid flu vaccines, because most flu vaccines are produced in embryonated chicken eggs; the concern was that a vaccine might contain residual egg protein, which could lead to anaphylaxis. Many studies have shown that flu vaccines are safe for egg-allergic patients, but many physicians still have been hesitant to vaccinate such patients. This updated practice parameter incorporates recent data on flu vaccine safety in egg-allergic patients, including children.

  • Flu vaccines should be administered annually to patients with egg allergy of any severity, with no need to ask recipients about egg-allergy status and no special precautions beyond those recommended for administering any vaccine to any patient. This recommendation applies to both injected and intranasal formulations (although the latter should not be used in the 2017−2018 flu season).
  • Non−egg-containing vaccines can be used but are not necessary or preferred over standard vaccines.

Future influenza vaccines are being planned without egg based media being used for their production, as this reduces efficacy. Till these are available, don’t bother about egg allergy with current vaccines.