Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Keywords: egg, influenza, vaccine (PubMed Search)
Posted: 3/2/2012 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD
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The seasonal influenza vaccine is produced in chicken eggs. Ovalbumin, an egg protein, is often listed as a component of the purified vaccine on most drug-package inserts. The concentration of ovalbumin indicates the potential egg-allergen content of a vaccine.
Earlier ACIP guidelines recommended against giving the influenza vaccine to people with egg allergy, including those with a history of mild symptoms. However, several studies showed that influenza vaccine containing inactivated, or killed, virus is safe to give to people with egg allergy, especially those with a history of mild allergic reactions.
Influenza vaccines are now made with much lower ovalbumin concentrations than in the past; therefore, the level of potential egg protein allergens in a single dose of vaccine is extremely low.
The following are ACIP recommendations for the 2011 to 2012 influenza season:
Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule - United States, 2012. MMWR Weekly. February 3, 2-12 / 61(04);1-7.
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