"There are hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States every year because of the flu, most of which could be prevented with a flu shot", says allergist John Kelso, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the practice parameter.
The season's first flu-related death was reported last week.
Last year, flu activity did not reach this level until mid-January.
Hospitalization numbers are well above last year and above the five-year average.
Eggs are used in the vaccine-manufacturing process to incubate the viral strains, Bergen explains, which leaves trace amounts of egg in the resulting flu shot.
However, not everyone in that range has been able to get the vaccine to date.
That concerned flu experts who had watched the vaccine show only 10 percent effectiveness against the H3N2 strain that circulated in Australia, where the flu season has just ended. An updated practice parameter from the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters stresses that people with egg allergy should receive their yearly flu shot, and that no special precautions are required. Those studies showed that people with egg allergies were no more likely than others to react to a flu shot.
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"We still have some time to get immunized we think it's going to peak earlier this year than it did last year for the flu season which means near the end of this month", said Dr. Whitacre. In the past, people with egg allergy were advised to explore egg-free flu vaccination options.
One of the main concerns with any vaccine is a severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis.
But a paper published Tuesday in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found the flu shot to be safe and recommended its use for people who are allergic to eggs.
18, 2017 As the flu barrels across the United States, the good news is that this year's vaccine may work better than many expected.
"This is the best preventative measure we have against contracting influenza", Greenhawt said.
Khan said there is also an intranasal spray version of the vaccine for those who don't want the needle.
The vaccine has been offered to eligible children in reception class and school Years 1 to 4 in primary school.