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Posted on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

U-M study flips tables on flu vaccine recommendation for children allergic to eggs

By Amy Biolchini

A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan overturns historic recommendations in its findings that children allergic to eggs can safely be vaccinated against the flu, officials announced Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has historically recommended that children with egg allergies not receive the flu vaccine because the vaccine is grown in embryonated chicken eggs.


A new University of Michigan study has overturned a longstanding recommendation that children allergic to eggs should not receive a flu vaccine.

Lon Horwedel | file photo

U-M scientists have been examining the risk of the practice for several years.

Their most recent findings are responsible for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s announcement that a single dose of the flu vaccine is safe even for children with a severe allergy to eggs.

"Because the prevalence of egg allergy in children is approximately 2 percent, we know there are a significant number of children who don't get the flu vaccine,” according to a statement from Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, lead author of the study and assistant professor of allergy and immunology at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. “This study can put parents' fears to rest and hopefully help more kids avoid the flu.”

Children with egg allergies should be observed for 30 minutes after receiving the flu vaccine in a medical setting, according to U-M researchers.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:07 a.m.

I have an egg allergy and have received 53 consecutive flu shots over the years with no reaction, except not getting the flu. Trust me, having had the Asiatic flu years ago, I would not wish that on anyone and parents who leave their children unprotected from flu, whooping cough, or any other disease are doing them no favors. How will they explain to their very sick child that they didn't care enough to get protection?

Susan Kielb

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Does this also apply to adolescents and adults who are allergic to eggs?

G. Orwell

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

I wonder which pharmaceutical company paid for this study?


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

Sadly, recommendations change quite often as the latest study gets noticed. For example doctors believed in bloodletting for quite some time.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

Indeed science often overturns previous conclusions, and it is reassuring that in some cases it takes centuries. Until the errors are overturned, of course, it's authoritative dogma dressed up as theory, not scientific fact.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

The fact that science allows views to be overturned as evidence accumulates should be reassuring.