The recrudescence of measles and the recommended reimmunization of older children1 spotlights the problem of measles vaccination for the egg-sensitive patient. Measles vaccine (and mumps vaccine) is grown in chick embryo cell culture (not embryonated eggs), so there is a very low, but detectable, presence of egg-related antigens in the vaccine. In this issue of the AJDC, Dr Andrew Kemp and associates2 from Sydney, Australia, suggest that despite a history of immediate hypersensitivity reactions to egg protein, measles vaccine can be given safely without performing a vaccine skin test.3 Kemp et al make his recommendation based on the following facts:
They immunized 32 children with a history of egg sensitivity without performing skin tests and observed no adverse reactions.
A certain percentage of allergic children (5% to 10%) will react to the vaccine skin test (particularly children with eczema); most of these children can receive
STIEHM ER. Skin Testing Prior to Measles Vaccination for Egg-Sensitive Patients. Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(1):32. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250034026