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If you have an egg allergy, you may have been told not to get a flu shot. That's because the vaccine is grown in eggs and may contain a small amount of egg protein, which — it was feared — could trigger an allergic reaction. But a new guideline from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) dispenses with that old advice and says even people with an egg allergy should roll up their sleeves and get the shot to protect themselves from the flu.
"When people get flu shots, health care providers often ask if they are allergic to eggs," allergist Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, chair of the ACAAI Food Allergy Committee and lead author of the practice parameter, said in a written release. "We want health care providers and people with egg allergy to know there is no need to ask this question anymore, and no need to take any special precautions. The overwhelming evidence since 2011 has shown that a flu shot poses no greater risk to those with egg allergy than those without." Numerous studies have found that patients with egg allergy — even those with life-threatening allergies to egg — have gotten the shot and did not suffer any ill effects. This suggests there isn't enough egg protein in the vaccine to cause a reaction.