author of Feeding Eden

Say it Three Times FAST: Swine Flu Vaccine for the Ambiguously Egg Allergic Asthmatic Child?

After a few weeks of semi self-torture and research I have come to this . . . Yes. Yes. I think I will vaccinate my ambiguously egg allergic asthmatic son.

I'll back up. Eden has had anaphylactic FOOD ALLERGIES since he was one and ASTHMA since he was three. His food list has shortened a bit but began with all the "heavy hitters" (peanuts, tree nut, egg, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish) and his asthma is 1. seasonal pollen tree) 2. reactive (mold for example) 3. viral triggered (sometimes before, during or after a common cold.)
Why am I sharing? Partly to illustrate how unique each child's allergic profile can be. And to explain my H1N1 decision. Before I go into the "ambiguous egg" issue, here are a few of the places that I "went" over the past eight weeks to understand the H1N1 vaccine: (it isn't all she blogs about but she does a great job of it)
The October 18th edition of the newsletter where Gina Clowes asks all the right questions of Dr Green
My allergist Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn at Mt. Sinai Dept. of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Innumerably links to articles and info. from my Twitter "peeps" (thank you!)
And if mercury is your main concern I would log onto
Now for many the decision to vaccinate for H1N1 is a given, especially for an asthmatic child who may develop complications from Swine Flu. But what if the child also has food allergies, specifically an egg allergy? Dr. Green answers that question in his interview.
But WAIT... Eden just outgrew his egg allergy last year and he is still, um, egg-sensitive. He can eat eggs hard boiled with ease, oven-baked with like a champ, but meringue, soft cooked eggs, or even a "moist" omelet caused Eden to report on his itchy mouth and throat. Oh yeah - the scales of itch and ability to ingest ebb and flow with the seasons. Over the summer, Eden rarely had a problem with eating eggs but with the recent tree pollen and his increased hay fever even - a bone dry cooked 'till it's dead scrambled egg - doesn't seem to fully "agree" with Eden . . . I think.
So ultimately I did what I hope all parents in my situation have the ability to do: I parsed these details out with my allergist who took the time to ask incredibly specific questions about cooking techniques, quantities and medications.
After our conversation my allergist made a recommendation as to 1) whether the vaccine more helpful than harmful 2) which serum 3) what dosage to meter at which intervals. My least favorite part of her recommendation was for Eden to receive 10% of the injection and after fifteen minutes of monitoring, 90% of it. (Scary for a kid, yes?) Then again my allergist has always been cautious and I like that.
As far as children with food allergies besides egg, or food allergies and asthma, most allergy parents have varying comfort levels with vaccines. And I'm being cautious in this post about offering too much (i.e. which serum we may use) because I think each allergic child must be considered by their doctor.
Good Luck.