Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Flu vaccine unlikely to trigger reaction in children with egg allergy and asthma


Public Release: 8-Dec-2015
Flu vaccine unlikely to trigger reaction in children with egg allergy and asthma

The children's flu vaccine is unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction in those with egg allergy, finds a study in The BMJ today. The vaccine is also appropriate for young people with well-controlled asthma or recurrent wheeze, the findings show.

Evidence suggests that children and young people are the main spreaders of influenza infection. In 2012, the UK Department of Health therefore recommended annual vaccination of those aged 2-16 years of age with live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

LAIV is a nasal spray vaccine developed specifically for young people, but there are limited safety data for its use in young people with egg allergy and/or asthma. Some guidelines recommend against using LAIV in children under 5 years with a history of recurrent wheeze or asthma.

But this means that thousands of young people are not protected and can spread the disease to others, so a team of researchers set out to assess the safety of giving LAIV to those with egg allergy.


Participants were observed for at least 30 minutes after vaccination and followed-up by telephone 72 hours later. Those with a history of recurrent wheeze or asthma underwent further follow-up four weeks later.

No systemic allergic reactions occurred within two hours of vaccination. Nine participants (1.2%) experienced mild symptoms including a skin rash, sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose, suggesting a local allergic reaction.

Delayed events potentially due to the vaccine were reported in 221 participants, but no participants were admitted to hospital and no increase in lower respiratory tract symptoms occurred in the four weeks after vaccination (assessed with an asthma control test).

This study confirms our previous findings that LAIV is unlikely to trigger a systemic allergic reaction in young people with egg allergy, say the authors.


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