New guidelines say it's safe for people with egg allergies to get the flu vaccine.
The issue for people with allergies, according to the paper, is that the vaccine may continue to bear traces of where it was grown-specifically, there may be an egg protein called ovalbumin that finds its way into the shot.
During the 2015-2016 flu season, an estimated 308,232 people were hospitalized in the United States because of the flu, Kelso and his colleagues noted. "The overwhelming evidence since 2011 has shown that a flu shot poses no greater risk to those with egg allergy than those without".
She said there is a possibility that the influenza strain they've put in the vaccine this year "may not be a good match", but it's not definitive at this point.
Khan said they've seen some patients admitted into the hospital for the flu, but there aren't any definitive numbers at this point. "As recently as 10 years ago the thought was, if you had an egg allergy, you should not get the flu shot because it was thought you would have a reaction".
Even ask about egg allergy before giving the vaccine.
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"It's very rare to see an adult with egg allergy - not impossible", he said. No one in the studies had a severe reaction.
Anaphylaxis - a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction - "can occur rarely after the administration of any vaccine to any patient at a rate of approximately 1 per million", according to research conducted by Dr. John Kelso, an allergist and immunologist at Scripps Health, who co-authored the new guidelines.
"You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick", the agency says.
As for how effective this year's vaccine will be?
"This is the best preventative measure we have against contracting influenza", Greenhawt said.