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Coordination of multidisciplinary resources for vaccination of egg-allergic individuals during an H1N1 (novel) influenza pandemic

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Egg allergy is a contraindication for influenza vaccination because of the presence of trace egg protein. Although recent reports suggest that egg-allergic individuals can be safely immunized with seasonal influenza vaccine, the safety of H1N1 influenza vaccine in this context has not previously been reported. This study was designed to investigate how to safely immunize high-risk populations during the H1N1 influenza pandemic for whom the vaccine would be contraindicated. Vaccination of egg-allergic children was conducted at a large, multispecialty practice. Pediatricians raised awareness of vaccination and referred egg-allergic individuals to allergists. Allergists performed skin testing to H1N1 vaccine and, if negative, performed graded vaccine desensitizations in the office. Mass immunization of egg-allergic individuals was achieved within a 3-week period after receipt of vaccine. Sixty-three children (average age, 3.7 years) were evaluated and skin tested to the H1N1 influenza vaccine. All had a clinical history of egg allergy and recent positive skin-prick to egg. All had negative skin-prick test to the H1N1 vaccine and received graded challenge with three divided doses. All 62 children were successfully immunized without allergic reactions. Vaccination of egg-allergic individuals during a pandemic can be safely and efficiently accomplished with the coordination of multidisciplinary resources. Although this was conducted at a multispecialty practice, we believe that this invaluable public health service can be done outside of this context. Allergists, with the help of local pediatricians and urgent care centers or hospitals, can effectively mobilize to help protect the most vulnerable populations during pandemics.
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Keywords: Desensitization; H1N1; egg; food allergy; immunization; influenza; vaccination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Summit Medical Group, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, USA

Publication date: 2010-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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