Safety of influenza vaccine administration in egg-allergic patients.

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OBJECTIVECurrent guidelines recommend that egg-allergic patients receive an influenza vaccine skin test before the influenza vaccine. This study evaluated the safety of bypassing the skin test and administering graded doses of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic children.METHODSWe conducted a retrospective chart-review study of egg-allergic patients aged 6 months to 18 years who received the vaccine skin test and/or a 2-dose graded influenza vaccine. Between influenza seasons 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, egg-allergic patients underwent a vaccine skin test before influenza vaccine administration. Starting in 2006-2007, the skin test was removed from our protocol and egg-allergic patients received the influenza vaccine in 2 graded doses. All vaccinated patients were observed for adverse reactions.RESULTSTwo hundred sixty-one egg-allergic patients were evaluated for influenza vaccine administration, and 171 went on to receive the vaccine. Of the 56 patients who received the skin test before the influenza vaccine, 95% (exact 95% confidence interval [CI]: 85.1-98.9) tolerated the vaccine without a serious adverse reaction. This rate was unchanged after the vaccine skin test was removed from the protocol. Of the 115 patients who received the vaccine without a preceding skin test, 97% (exact 95% CI: 91.3-99.0) tolerated the vaccine without serious adverse reaction. The tolerance rate ratio was 1.01 (95% CI: 0.97-1.06).CONCLUSIONSThe results of our study suggest that egg-allergic patients without anaphylaxis to egg may safely receive the influenza vaccine in a 2-dose, graded fashion without a vaccine skin test.

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