Q. If I have an egg allergy, can I receive an influenza vaccine?
A. Yes. People with egg allergies no longer need to avoid influenza vaccination. However, depending on the severity of the egg allergy, some precautions or special considerations may be necessary:
- People who are able to eat lightly cooked or scrambled eggs without reaction can receive any influenza vaccine unless they have some other condition that would preclude the use of one or more versions.
- People who experience a skin reaction, such as hives, after eating eggs or egg-containing foods can either remain at the place of administration for 30 minutes after vaccination or request a newer version of the influenza vaccine, called FluBlok®, which contains no egg proteins since it was derived using recombinant DNA technology. Another newer option, Flucelvax®, is grown in mammalian cells instead of eggs, so it has virtually no detectable egg protein. However, these latter two types of influenza vaccines are not licensed for use in those younger than 18 years of age.
- People who experience severe reactions — cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or respiratory distress — after exposure to eggs or egg-containing foods can receive the recombinant influenza vaccine (FluBlok®) if they are between 18 and 49 years of age, or they should contact an allergist.