advertisement

Allergy

20 April 2019

Egg allergy? Don't let that stop you from getting vaccinated

No special precaution is needed when people with an egg allergy get a shot for flu; measles, mumps and rubella; or rabies.

Allergies to vaccines are extremely rare and even when they do occur, allergists can safely administer vaccines, Canadian experts report.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) allergies that cause hives, swelling, wheezing or anaphylaxis occur in only 1 of 760 000 vaccinations.

'A bit at a time'

Such a reaction typically starts within minutes of a shot, is unlikely to occur after 60 minutes, and is highly unlikely after four hours, according to two physicians at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Fever, local pain and swelling can occur up to 21 days after a vaccination and are not signs of allergy, according to Dr Derek Chu, a fellow in clinical immunology and allergy, and Dr Zainab Abdurrahman, an assistant clinical professor in paediatrics.

Other than the yellow fever vaccine, an egg allergy is no reason to avoid vaccinations, they said.

No special precaution is needed when people with an egg allergy get a shot for flu; measles, mumps and rubella; or rabies – even though those vaccines may contain a tiny amount of egg protein, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Pediatric Society said.

A reaction after a vaccination could be due to a latex allergy triggered by the rubber stopper or preloaded syringe, and not the actual vaccine.

If you actually have a vaccine allergy, an allergist can give you the vaccine a bit at a time, the doctors said.

The paper was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Image credit: iStock

 

Ask the Expert

Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules