Allergic to the Flu Shot? Here are Some Alternatives

flu-shots The simplest way to combating flu is by taking a flu shot. People who are allergic to eggs have an inherent allergy to flu shots since the traditional vaccine is produced in chicken eggs. Taking a regular influenza vaccine if you have such a condition could prove catastrophic. While the allergy wasn’t an issue for a while since you could totally skip the vaccine, the recent directive demanding kids between six and 59 months to get the shot has made many people interested hence sparking the reactions.

Why the Complication?

The final vaccine is a refined product that doesn’t contain high levels of the egg proteins. The problem is current refinery procedures don’t get rid of all the egg protein leading to minimal contamination that would otherwise be acceptable to somebody without the allergy. This might soon be outdated as researchers refine the process and make the product purer by the day.

The Associated Risks

Even though most of the people have little or no chances of contracting notable side effects from the traditional flu shot, anyone allergic to egg protein will be affected to different extents. The intensity of the allergy will vary depending on the severity of the allergy. You should only be worried about getting the flu shots if you experience the following complications when exposed to egg proteins
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing problems, for instance wheezing and troubled breath
  • Anaphylaxis
The bearable side effects will involve a stuffy nose, some hives, an itchy rash and an occasional tingling sensation in your mouth. A mild antihistamine could help you combat these and survive the flu shot if you don’t have the alternative non-protein shot ready at hand.

Egg-Free Influenza Vaccine Alternatives

There are two major alternatives to people suffering from egg protein allergy. These strains of the flu vaccine are manufactured through the cell culture procedure and will therefore have no egg protein traces.
  • Flubok vaccine. Made from an insect virus
  • Flucelvax made using small amounts of seed virus in a cell-based technology setting
The only problem is that these vaccines are harder to produce. That is why most of the practitioners will stock more egg-produced shot and have little amounts of the special vaccine. You might have to pay more for the special vaccine. This makes it wise to only go for the alternative if you are confident that you have a severe egg protein allergy.

Testing for Egg Protein Allergy

A simple skin test might be all you need to find out if you will react with the vaccine or not. While identified intolerance to egg protein might hint at an influenza shot complication, it doesn’t explicitly mean that you should keep off the traditional shot. Talk to your doctor before taking the shot. A skin test involves scratching some bit of egg protein onto your skin and observing for any reactions within 30 minutes. A positive test means that your intolerance isn’t severe and you can safely take the traditional shot even if you will have to take mild antihistamines to keep the light side effects in check. A severe reaction is an explicit indicator that you should wait for flubok or flucelvax based vaccines. Since these vaccines are only approved for people above 18 years of age, most of the doctors might advise on managing the allergy for anyone younger as this is safer than taking chances with alternative vaccines.
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