Photo: Getty Images
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) revised their previous recommendations concerning immunizations and egg allergy. These changes were reported in an October 18, 2010 Eurekalert! public release.
The AAAAI advised that egg allergy should not automatically exclude a child from being immunized. Instead, an allergist or immunologist can test the child to determine whether or not they are at risk from the vaccine.
The revised guidelines were compiled by Matthew J. Greenhawt, M.D., M.B.A., clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Health System and James T. Li, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic.
Parents of children who are allergic to eggs may be concerned that administering certain vaccines could be risky business. Egg allergy is one of the most common type of allergies among children.
This combined with the fact that many children's vaccines contain egg protein can put a parent on guard. The fear is that the child could experience an allergic reaction to the vaccine, from mild reactions like fever and discomfort, to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis.
Commonly-given vaccines which contain proteins related to eggs are the influenza (flu) vaccine and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Some other vaccines which are not routinely given are immunizations for typhoid and yellow fever.
Small amounts of egg protein are used in the flu vaccine. It is considered to be safe for children with mild egg allergy. In those patients, the flu vaccine can be given via a two step approach. Either giving 10% of the vaccine first followed by the other 90% or in two divided doses monitored under the watchful eye of an allergist.
The MMR vaccine contains a type of cultured cells which generally would not cause an egg allergy reaction. It's always a good idea to monitor any child with an egg allergy when being immunized, nevertheless the American Academy of Pediatrics gives its general endorsement for children with egg allergies to have the MMR vaccine.