Confusion About Swine Flu Vaccine Could Prevent Allergy Patients Who Need Vaccine from Getting It

October 22, 2009

FREDERICKSBURG, Va., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Once supply catches up with the immediate demand for H1N1 “swine” flu vaccine, some allergy patients who could benefit from the vaccine may needlessly avoid it due to confusion over who should, and should not, be vaccinated, cautions Dr. Peter R. Smith, a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist with Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Dr. Smith also serves as a physician adviser of the Planning District 16 School Health Team for Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline.

“There is a lot of misunderstanding about whether people with food allergies, especially egg allergies, can receive flu vaccines,” Dr. Smith says. “This is because flu vaccines contain a number of components, one of which is egg protein.

“The vast majority of patients with egg allergy and/or suspected sensitivity to other components of the vaccine can be vaccinated following an evaluation by an allergist. Even patients who have experienced adverse reactions to vaccines in the past can often be inoculated safely using allergy guidelines.”

The guidelines, outlined in the October 2009 supplement to the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, include skin testing and a graded challenge in certain cases.

Patients who want to learn more about vaccine guidelines can visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web sites.

Asthma Considerations

Dr. Smith also strongly urges asthma patients to receive swine flu and seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible since they are among the high risk groups for developing severe complications from influenza. However, asthmatics and anyone living with them should avoid the nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine is a live, weakened strain of influenza that has the potential to trigger respiratory symptoms in asthmatics and individuals who are immunocompromised. These individuals, along with their family members, should receive the injectable vaccine.

About Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg

Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg provides expert diagnosis, treatment and relief to patients with allergy, asthma and sinus conditions. The group’s offices are in Fredericksburg and North Stafford, Virginia. Dr. Peter Smith founded the practice in 1972. Today, the group’s board-certified specialists include Dr. Smith, Dr. Jonathan Mozena, Dr. Mark Wenger and Dr. Bonita “Bonnie” Wilson. They serve patients from Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Quantico, Prince William, the Northern Neck, Culpeper and Caroline County.

For more information please visit: http://www.allergypartners.com/fredericksburg

SOURCE Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg

Source: newswire

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