The flu vaccine is now available for all our patients. “The Flu” is caused by influenza virus, a winter-time respiratory virus. The flu season typically is from October through March, but sometimes can run as late as May. People who have asthma (and other chronic medical conditions), or are under age 5 or over 65, or pregnant women are at higher risk for serious influenza-related complications (such as bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes).
A common question we get asked is: “I get why the flu vaccine is important, but what’s the issue with egg allergy?” Flu vaccines are cultured on fluid from chicken embryos, so there may be trace amounts of egg protein in the vaccine. Thus, it is theoretically possible that patients with egg allergy may have an allergic reaction after getting the flu shot. If you have had anaphylaxis to egg, you may still safely receive the vaccine under our supervision. If you are already tolerating egg in baked goods, your primary care provider can vaccinate you.
We offer the injectable flu virus vaccine, which is safe for asthma and egg allergic patients, ages 6 months and up. Call us to schedule an appointment for your flu shot, if you have an egg allergy. Your doctor will review your egg allergy status before giving you the vaccine. Please note: if you do NOT have egg allergy, you do NOT need an appointment to come in and get your flu shot!
BTW, if you are interested to know the yearly burden of influenza virus in the US, check out the following figure from the CDC. These are annual estimates from the last 7 years of data.