Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Flu shots for people with food allergies

It's that time of year again, when people are getting their flu shots. Or they are getting their flumist. And the doctors lecture about how important it is to get, especially this year (why especially this year?). Over the last few weeks all 4 of my children have had their well-checks. 2 got a flu shot, 1 opted for the FluMist, and 1 is allergic to eggs. Last year I thought I would have her get the FluMist since she can't have the flu shot without taking extra precautions, but Sophie also has mild asthma, which is a contra indicator for the FluMist.

Our pediatrician recommended having a skin test at the allergist's office to determine whether Sophie will react to the shot, which is cultured in eggs. I have never been brave enough to go this route. I'm not worried about the skin test, but if she fails the skin test, she can get the shot "in doses", which essentially means getting 4 or so shots over a several hour period. It's just not my idea of fun! However, I am going to try it this year, after reading this article from Johns Hopkins:

For those of you with egg allergies, what is your approach to the flu shot? What is your experience?


  1. I just skip it entirely. My son has asthma, also, so I get pressured by the pulmo people to let him have the shot, but with an egg allergy, I just can't risk it, I feel.

  2. My little allergic guy has gotten the flu shot with preceding skin test. He had it twice last year actually, for the seasonal flu and later h1n1. He hasn't had an anaphlactic reaction to egg but gets a huge welt on the skin test to egg and puffs up with a teeny exposure to baked egg. His reaction to both flu shots on the scratch test was negative. He was able to get the full shot dose with no reaction.

  3. My son is allergic to eggs but can tolerate them in baked goods. He has gotten the flu shot for 2 years now and has been fine. He was also diagnosed with asthma earlier this year. After he gets the shot we have to sit in the office for 30 minutes just in case. I am allergic to eggs and I have never gotten the flu shot but it has been YEARS since I have been to an allergist. I am thinking of going soon and asking about the flu shot.

  4. My son and daughter are both allergic to eggs. I was brave and had the skin test done. They both passed it. My daughter did the Flu mist and my son was too young to do the Flu mist and had the regular shot. We will go back in a month for the second dose. They both did fine. I recommend it to keep the sickness in the winter less.

  5. Last year, my son (two at that time) had an H1N1 skin test done in office (allergist said I was too late for seasonal flu) and he passed it. So we did the H1N1 in his office.

    This year I have noticed in our pediatricians office lots of posts that warn against flu shot/mist and egg allergy.

    My question is, in years past those signs were not there. Is there something different about this year's vaccination?

    And...I don't know if we will get it. I go back and forth all the time. I have a one-year -old trying to figure out what to do. He doesn't have egg allergy, but I wonder if it is silly to vax one and not other?

  6. Thanks for all your comments about flu shots. We did go to the allergist, and Sophie passed the flu shot skin test and got the flu shot with no problems. I will probably do it again next year. Sophie was really nervous about the shot, but afterwards she said the shot was way easier than the skin test!