People with egg allergies have historically stayed away from the flu vaccine. Most flu vaccines are manufactured using chicken eggs and contain trace amounts of a protein called ovalbumin. As a result, those with an egg allergy have been advised to look into egg-free options for the vaccine. However, a paper published on December 19 suggests that these anxieties over the egg-based shot were for naught. The flu shot was deemed safe, even for those with egg allergies.
“People with egg allergy of any severity can receive the influenza vaccine without any special precautions,” Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, the paper’s lead author, told CNN.
Experts hope that this new revelation with encourage more people to get their flu shot without caution. No flu vaccine is ever 100 percent effective — last year’s vaccine was just 42 percent effective. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one. The flu vaccine is a method of prevention recommended by almost every doctor and health specialist, including those at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Even still, only 46.8 percent of people in the United States received a vaccination for last year’s flu season.
Not that very many people are avoiding the shot solely due to an egg allergy — just two percent of all children experience an egg allergy and it’s rare that these allergies last through adulthood.
“One redeeming quality about egg allergy is that the majority of it is outgrown at some point in childhood, with a very small proportion of individuals retaining that into adulthood,” explained Greenhawt.
Now there’s one less excuse for avoiding your flu shot this season — it’s time to go get yours. Before you go, brush up on these 15 things you need to know before you get vaccinated.