Letters to the Editor

Egg Allergy and the Flu Vaccine

My child with egg allergy was able to receive the flu vaccine safely. As a biology college professor I am fully aware of the fact that immunizations have dramatically reduced the burden of many infectious diseases worldwide. I acknowledge that the seasonal influenza vaccine has a strong track record of successfully reducing influenza infection. I had read that the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, which is being strongly recommended for young children, is expected to protect these children from the risk and possible death associated with the swine flu. However, as a concerned and worried mother of a child with diagnosed egg allergy, I did not know what to do. When I spoke to my pediatrician, I was advised to avoid all flu vaccines. However, after discovering your website and reading the article on "Adverse Reactions to Vaccines" by James Li, I realized that there was a possibility my child could be safely vaccinated. I scheduled an appointment with the allergist. My child had a positive skin test for egg 1 year ago and avoids pure eggs but tolerates baked goods with eggs. After seeing the allergist and undergoing testing to the flu vaccine and egg extract, it was determined that with a graded challenge my child could receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. We completed this testing and the vaccine was safely administered. I want to say how appreciative I am for finding this article on your website and hope that other concerned parents will realize that not all children with diagnosed egg allergy must avoid receiving flu vaccines. A visit to the allergist can determine if flu vaccination can be safely administered.

Thankful mother

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