What are Allergic Reactions to Flu Shot?

Everyone should take flu shot once a year to get protection from flu. Though, it is rare, but certain people can be allergic to flu shot. The flu shot should be taken by elder people, who stay in nursing homes. The following article discusses about the

allergic reactions to flu shot

and a related research study.

A flu shot is a vaccine in an inactivated form given with a needle in the arm. Flu shot vaccine provides protection against three seasonal viruses. It includes dead strain of influenza virus grown under the chicken eggs. Allergy to flu shot is rarely found in people, but its ingredients can cause allergic reactions. When an individual is allergic to eggs, then there are more chances for allergy to flu shots.

Allergic Reactions to Flu Shot

This allergy is common in children when compared with its occurrence in adults. Some symptoms of allergic reaction to flu shots are as follows:Allergic Reactions to Flu Shot

  • Hives
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Respiratory problems
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Skin rashes

Other allergic reactions:

  • Paleness
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Body ache
  • Fever
  • Allergic asthma
  • Swelling around heart area
  • Swelling on lips and tongue
  • Swelling or redness at the site of injection

You must seek medical advice from a health care professional when the allergic reactions caused by flu shot do not subside within a couple of days. People allergic to thimerosal or mercury are more prone to allergic reactions caused by flu shot. Some researchers also say that mercury present in flu shot can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease or autism. ‘Guillain – Barré’ syndrome can happen after administration of flu shot, which is not an allergic reaction. This condition includes symptoms such as muscle weakness, fever and in some extreme cases can lead to permanent nerve damage and paralysis.

Allergic reactions to flu shot can be caused in children who have given flu shot for the first time, but it is a mild reaction. The symptoms in children are same as discussed in adults and subsides within 2 days of flu shot administration. But, if it becomes difficult to control, then you must seek a pediatrician’s advice.

Research Study

A recent new report in Pediatrics revealed that flu shot is safe for most of the children with egg allergies. As the flu vaccine is made in chicken eggs, there arises a concern about giving flu shot to children with egg allergies. According to American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 1 in 60 children in U.S suffer from these allergies. But the vaccines prepared in now a days contain only minute amounts of egg proteins, says Dr. Lynda Schneider of Boston’s Children Hospital. This minute amount available in vaccines in present times just equals one millionth of an egg.

The physicians perform a skin test to check whether the child with egg allergies is allergic to flu shot or not. However, Dr. Lynda et al have observed that the test is not useful in knowing a child’s risk to allergic reaction to flu shot. Instead, they came out with a conclusion that children can be given one tenth of the vaccine first and then followed by the remaining amount if there is no reaction with the former dose.

Here is the report made by Dr. Lynda et al on 171 children who were on flu shots, with skin tests performed before and after.

About 56 children had a skin test before vaccination, among which 95 % tolerated the vaccine with no allergic reaction just as 97 % of the children who did not had any skin test beforehand. A very few children experienced mild symptoms like wheezing, hives and itchiness, but none of these symptoms required any treatments with epinephrine injections.

Children who suffered allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis recently were not included in this study.

Flu shot should be taken by everyone between the age 6 months to 18 years, as said by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is particularly good for children with asthma and egg allergy as they are at higher risk of flu complications. Whatever it may be, it is more complicated for egg-allergic children to get flu shots. Dr. Lynda noted that egg-allergic children are less likely to be immunized than non-allergic children. But we can hope that by making things better, we can get more of the egg-allergic children immunized.

The above article is about the

allergic reactions to flu shot

and a related research study.

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