Objective To evaluate safety of MMR vaccine in children with egg allergy. The measles component of MMR vaccine is cultured in chicken embryo fibroblasts. Concern regarding its safety is understandable in children allergic to egg. According to published evidence, MMR vaccine is safe in children with egg allergy who do not have a background history of anaphylaxis.
Methods It is a retrospective study over 18 months (May 2006 to October 2007). Information was collected from the referral letters, hospital records, child health book, immunisation cards and district immunisation office.
Children with a history of egg allergy and due for MMR vaccine were referred to the specialist immunisation clinic. Children received the vaccine either in the GP surgeries or in the hospital. Children were observed for four hours in the hospital following administration of MMR vaccine. Any adverse reaction was recorded.
Results Forty-three children were referred during the study period. Thirty-eight children were allergic to only egg. Thirty-four children received the MMR vaccine in hospital and four received the vaccine in primary care. Two children had a skin rash around the injection site without any systemic symptoms. These resolved within four hours. No severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis was noted.
Conclusions Egg allergy continues to be a major concern in children receiving MMR vaccination. Our study establishes the safety of MMR vaccine in children with a history of egg allergy and supports the current guideline to administer MMR vaccine in primary care in all children who do not have a previous history of anaphylaxis.