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If You Or Your Child Have An Egg Allergy, Can You Still Get A Flu Shot?

flu shot

Those with egg allergies may worry about whether they can get a flu shot, but luckily, they still can. Some vaccines are made with eggs, but that is generally not a concern even if you do have egg allergies.

Egg allergies are one of the most common, behind milk and peanuts. About 2% of children are allergic to eggs. It is more common to react to the egg whites but some people are allergic to both the whites and the yolks.

So what do egg allergies have to do with the flu shot? Some flu vaccines are made using eggs. That means that there are small amounts of egg protein within the vaccine. When it is administered, they will enter the bloodstream. So should you skip the flu shot if you are allergic to eggs? Not necessarily.

READ MORE: CDC Warns Not Enough Pregnant Women Are Getting Their Flu & Whooping Cough Shots

Flu vaccines that contain egg proteins can be safely given to most people with egg allergy. In general, egg allergy should not make any difference in whether you can get a flu shot.

A fictitious influenza vaccine.
Credit: iStock

In rare cases, some people with very sensitive egg allergy cannot tolerate the standard flu shot. There are two flue vaccines that do not contain egg proteins. They are approved for use in adults age 18 and up.

If you think you might be allergic to eggs, talk to your doctor prior to getting a flu shot. In some cases, the doctor will simply give you a vaccine that does not contain eggs. You will still gain immunity from this season's flu. The doctor might also refer you to a specialist.

A specialist can conduct a skin test to check whether you are actually allergic to eggs. If you have had reactions in the past, it does not necessarily mean eggs were the true culprit. During the test, a nurse or doctor will scratch a tiny amount of egg protein onto your skin. If your skin reacts, you have the allergy.

All said, you will most likely be fine getting a flu shot regardless.

READ NEXT: When Should The Kids & I Get The Flu Shot?

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