It’s the most wonderful time of the year – flu season. Getting your flu shot is as important as ever because of COVID-19’s persistent presence these last two years. One of the most common food allergy myths is that those with egg allergy cannot receive the flu vaccine. This is not true, and those with an egg allergy should get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine.

How Myth Came to Be

Flu vaccines are historically (and still) made using an egg-based manufacturing process. This means that the flu vaccines contain a small amount of ovalbumin, which is an egg protein. The amount of egg protein has been reported as a maximum amount of ≤1 µg/0.5 mL dose for flu shots and 0.24 µg/0.2 mL dose for the nasal spray vaccine according to the CDC. There are some licensed vaccines that are considered egg-free. Because it is well known that most available flu vaccines contain egg protein, those with egg allergy have been weary and scared to receive it.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry

While it is true most flu vaccines contain egg protein, those with egg allergy can still receive it. The amount of egg protein within it is miniscule and should not cause a reaction. It is still possible to have an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, however this is extremely rare. In a vaccine Safety Datalink study, there were 10 cases of anaphylaxis within more than 7.4 million doses given. Most of these cases were not related to the egg protein within the vaccine.

What You Can Do

If you are worried about a possible allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, go to your allergist to receive it. They can monitor your symptoms and provide immediate treatment if a reaction occurs. If you have had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, you should also receive the flu vaccine in your allergist’s office.

The importance of the flu vaccine should not be undermined by a myth that has been proven false. However, if you are still unsure or uncomfortable, visiting a Board-Certified Allergist can help provide the best options for your specific circumstance. To schedule an appointment with an allergist at National Allergy & ENT, please call (843) 797-8162 or schedule online.

Source: CDC