Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Flu Vaccine Safe For People With Egg Allergies

Flu Vaccine May Only Be 10 Percent Effective This Year Influenza on the rise in Washington
Judith Alexander | 20 December, 2017, 01:37

Because the vaccine contains egg protein, doctors used to advise against the shot entirely or to get it only in the presence of an allergist if someone had a known allergy.

New guidelines say it's safe for people with egg allergies to get the flu vaccine.

The U.S. Preventative Task Force even added that health care professionals don't need to ask about egg allergies at all when offering the flu shot to patients.

To reach this conclusion, the association reviewed dozens of studies involving thousands of patients with egg allergies who have received a flu shot and did not have allergic reactions - including hundreds with life-threatening egg allergy.

More than 400 flu related hospitalizations have been reported since the start of the season.

Greenhawt, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital Colorado, estimates that egg allergy affects 2% of children in the United States.

See an allergy specialist for the flu shot.

The authors conclude by stating that "Vaccine providers and screening questionnaires do not need to ask about the egg allergy status of recipients of influenza vaccine".

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That means patients don't need to see an allergist to get the flu shot, or require a longer-than-usual observation period after receiving the injection.

"We have been seeing an increase since the fall in those numbers, but they've been stable in the last couple of weeks", said Laura Bourns, a public health physician.

Symptoms of the flu usually come on quickly and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue, according to the CDC.

"Our summer was very busy, so the adult side has been having surge issues longer standing that are beyond flu", she said.

The DPH said more than 250 people tested positive for the flu as of early December.

That concerned flu experts who had watched the vaccine show only 10 percent effectiveness against the H3N2 strain that circulated in Australia, where the flu season has just ended.

The vaccine has been offered to eligible children in reception class and school Years 1 to 4 in primary school.

"My understanding is there's definitely some open beds at this time, we have the capacity to open extra beds if needed still", Khan said.

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