FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 2, 2011
Osteopathic Physician Provides Update on Pediatric and Adult Immunizations
(Orlando, Fla.)— Children with egg allergies might be able to get their flu shots after all. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which provides guidance with immunization programs, finds that there is not enough ovalbumin — the main protein found in egg whites — in the influenza vaccine to cause concern.
Stanley E. Grogg, DO, shared this and other pediatric and adult immunization updates during the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) OMED 2011, the Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Dr. Grogg, an AOA board-certified pediatrician and a liaison for the AOA to the ACIP, asks his patients if they eat pasta, cake, ice cream, pancakes, and bread.
“Since the amount of egg in the influenza vaccine is less than in foods that contain eggs like pasta and ice cream, children should be able to get a flu shot if they can eat those types of foods,” explains Dr. Grogg, an associate dean of clinical research and a professor of pediatrics at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa. “An egg allergy of any severity should be a precaution, but not necessarily a limitation to receiving the flu vaccine.”
Dr. Grogg encourages parents to speak with their child’s pediatrician about any concerns they have about vaccinations.
Chickenpox and Shingles
Although varicella, or the chickenpox vaccine, does not completely prevent the childhood illness, those who are vaccinated and come down with chickenpox suffer less lesions, says Dr. Grogg. While most people born before 1980 have had chickenpox, Dr. Grogg stresses anyone born after 1980 should get the chickenpox vaccine.
“Adults are more likely than children to die from chickenpox and suffer from serious complications,” Dr. Grogg says.
For adults who had chickenpox as a child, the virus remains inactive in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus could be reactivated as shingles, Dr. Grogg explains. Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved the herpes zoster vaccine, which helps prevent shingles, for adults age 50 and older, Dr. Grogg says the ACIP doesn’t recommend the vaccine until age 60.
“There are much higher incidents of shingles in older adults than there are before age 65,” Dr. Grogg explains. “People who suffer from shingles can still get the herpes zoster vaccine but they should wait until the shingles outbreak clears up.”
The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) offers a free app, Shots by STFM, which contains the latest immunization schedules for children, teenagers, and adults. Dr. Grogg says the app, which is available for all smart phones, provides information available for each vaccine, including high risk indications and adverse reactions.
Additionally, the AOA offers information online about vaccinations, including national recommendations for vaccinations and health articles about vaccines. The site also includes results of a recent online national consumer survey asking parents of teenagers about the importance they place on vaccinations and if their children are current on all national recommendations for vaccinations.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 78,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs); promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
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