Influenza vaccination of the egg-allergic individual: 2012 update

Raymond J Mullins and Michael S Gold
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10659
Published online: 18 June 2012

To the Editor: Recent studies have highlighted the safety of administering influenza vaccine derived from embryonated chicken eggs to egg-allergic individuals,1-3 as long as the vaccine contains no more than 1 µg of egg ovalbumin per dose. This is reflected in recommendations by expert advisory groups including the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.4 These recommendations have been strengthened by further evidence of the safety of influenza vaccines, even in patients with egg-induced anaphylaxis.5 All the seasonal influenza vaccines currently available in Australia contain haemagglutinin from influenza A, B and H1N1 strains, and less than 1 µg of egg ovalbumin per dose (data available on request from the author). We thus reiterate the safety of administering currently available influenza trivalent vaccines in medically supervised primary care settings as a single dose, with a 30-minute observation period (rather than the standard 15 minutes) for patients with non-anaphylactic reactions to egg.

  • 1 John James Medical Centre, Canberra, ACT.
  • 2 School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA.

Competing interests:

Raymond Mullins has received investigator-initiated, unrestricted research grants from CSL Limited for the purchase of data for unrelated research.

  • 1. Mullins RJ, Kemp A, Gold M. Influenza vaccination of the egg-allergic individual [editorial]. Med J Aust 2010; 193: 254-255.
  • 2. Mullins RJ, Gold MS. Influenza vaccination of the egg-allergic individual [letter]. Med J Aust 2011; 195: 52-53.
  • 3. Greenhawt MJ, Li JT, Bernstein DI, Blessing-Moore J, Cox L, Khan D, et al. Administering influenza vaccine to egg allergic recipients: a focused practice parameter update. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2011; 106: 11-16.
  • 4. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Influenza vaccination of the egg allergic individual. (accessed May 2012).
  • 5. Fung I, Spergel JM. Administration of influenza vaccine to pediatric patients with egg-induced anaphylaxis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2012; 129: 1157-1159.
  • 6. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Australian immunisation handbook 9th Ed. (accessed May 2012).
  • 7. Owens G, MacGinnitie A. Higher-ovalbumin-content influenza vaccines are well tolerated in children with egg allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011; 127: 264-265.


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