Anyone who has asthma may be familiar with the invitation for a flu vaccine. If you are higher risk, ie. the elderly, unwell or people who have asthma or breathing problems there is a chance of complications if you do catch flu. Over the years I have had many flu jabs and haven’t actually had flu since I was a small child. I don’t tend to get colds ever (oh the irony, I will probably get one now, the mother of all colds) and am rarely ill, if you discount random allergic reactions.
So I popped in to see if I could make an appointment to have my flu shot last week.
The nurse had checked beforehand that the injection was latex free.
Brilliant! I was impressed that she had checked, I know about the risk for those with an egg allergy but wouldn’t have thought latex was present in a vaccine.
If you have an egg allergy you can read about flu vaccines on the BSACI website.
However I didn’t have the injection in the end because a further check into the sheath the vaccine needle was held inside revealed that it contained rubber latex protein.
Me too and it’s also potentially dangerous; an obviously conscientious nurse, who checked the ingredients, could have made a mistake purely because she hadn’t asked the right questions.
She only checked again because she thought the sheath looked like it could be made of latex…
Why make a latex free vaccine and communicate this as if it’s a good thing and then store the needle in a rubber latex sheath?
I’m guessing it’s the cheapest and most useful material to use for the sheath but it should be clearly labelled.
And if someone phones from a surgery asking if the vaccine is latex free the suppliers should reasonably deduce that the reason for this phone call is that the patient has a latex allergy.
To not volunteer the information that the sheath contains latex in the first place is crazy. What if I had had the injection and had a reaction? I was on my bicycle that day and we all know what exercise can do to me when I have been exposed to my allergens.
So a warning really, don’t have any vaccine unless you have checked what the needle is stored in.
Though I have to say, I have never had any reactions after having vaccines or flu jabs of any kind, apart from that horrible dead arm feeling and sometimes mild symptoms of flu which is quite normal.
If you have a latex allergy check out the Latex Allergy Support Group website. They have a list of the vaccines which are latex free.
Looks like there are options out there but do I even really need it? My surgery said they would look into it and even though my asthma is well controlled they would prefer it if I did have the vaccine. I will forward them this list as it might help them narrow down a possible source, though one option is going to hospital to have it. I really don’t have the time or inclination to go that far just for the flu jab. It usually takes seconds down the local surgery.
Does anyone else out there with asthma have the flu jab?
Anyone else with a latex allergy who either has had the jab, had a reaction to it or decided not to bother with the risk from latex.
Never heard of a latex vaccine how much more so of latex vaccine allergy…
It’s not a latex vaccine, you need to read the blog post. Only really relevant if you have a latex allergy
Kristen M says
I too have asthma and haven’t had a problem with the flu shot up until a couple of days ago. I have a latex allergy, but it has only presented itself as a minor skin irritation. I know that the more you’re exposed to your allergens the worse your reactions become…..anaphylaxis is something I’m quite familiar with unfortunately due to a very long list of allergies…..anyway, I got my flu shot that did contain latex either on the sheath or stopper, not worried because I get a flu shot every year. Well, I guess my body had just had enough of latex because 10 min later I had to administer my Epipen and the paramedics were on their way. Needless to say, no more flu shots!!!! Now I’m on a large dose of prednisone wiping out my immune system, so I’m hoping I don’t end up getting the flu on top of all the fun I’ve had in the last couple of days.
Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this. Yes reactions can get worse with every exposure. The body thinks it’s being clever but it’s really being a right pain in the back side. Glad you are OK but hope you can avoid this happening in the future. I’m pretty sure you can request a latex free flu jab? Sending healthy vibes to you. Boost your immune system back up with lots of fruit, veg, early nights, gentle exercise and echinacea and anything else you can get your hands on. Hope you feel better soon.
That’s awful news! =/ I had a lingering but mild systemic response to a flu vaccination numerous years ago now, a tiny/flat but very bright rash along my back-neck, and with our household approaching the shot again and one of our kids mandated to get it this year, I’m trying to understand how that really works. I was never very sensitive to rubber gloves at the dentist etc, but I did test very allergic to black rubber during an allergy panel.
Believe it or not Latex is in ALOT of things….. and Rubber Latex is still latex.. I have not only a latex allergy but now am allergic to adhesives as well. ( Can’t even wear a latex free bandage without severe itching, raises, red irritated skin) Also found out the hard way that natural latex is found in eye kohl ( ugh yeah) & ….. drum roll ….. Mascara !! After a reaction I had…. (thinking it was pink eye, after a visit to the doctor, and little research later) I work in the medical industry so I’m way more exposed. My right side reacts worse than my left…. which makes since since I’m a righty….They are slowly getting away from latex based products, hence seeing only Nitrile gloves in hospitals found on walls, Latex free packaging and gloves in sterile kits (for IVs, Mediport flushes etc etc) SO LATEX ALLERGY PEEPS BEWARE of any products you put on & in your body……. I use all natural organic brand makeup (Tarte) & again natural latex can be found easily in nature in plants etc that some companies use…….so far with this Co. only notes in mascara & black kohl as I stated………. so I just avoid ♀️….. Hope this helps
Ruth Holroyd says
Oh I believe it… it crops up in the most unsuspecting places sometimes. I too struggle with any adhesive dressings and get a worse reaction to the plaster than what happened to need a plaster! LoLs. I’ve not tried Tarte makeup. I’ll check it out. I’ve been using NAT Origin. But don’t wear much makeup to be honest. Thanks so much for your comment.
I believe I am allergic to latex and had the jab last year. I had a mild reaction, my arm became red, hot and itchy by the evening. It did recede over a couple of days. I am due to have another jab tomorrow but may cancel.
Ruth Holroyd says
Hi Diane, I wonder if they can give you the jab with no latex? Worth a call to the surgery before you cancel. But maybe not worth the risk as I know some people can have a more severe reaction.
What does a person take when I have gotten a flu shot that contains latex and I am allergic to it Injection site looks like a bad sunburn and nowI have a fever and my body is really itchy Reactine isn’t helping
Ruth Holroyd says
Eeek. Are you still at the doctors surgery? If you are show them. If not, and it gets worse, get medical help. If you are not concerned it’s getting worst, take antihistamines and ice the sore area. That should help. Really sorry this has happened. Hope it heals and stops itching soon.
I have Latex sensitivity and it is noted in ALL my medical records. I received a flu vaccine in January 2018. The next day I awoke to a bottom lip that was 4 times normal size and my entire right side of face.swollen. called my doctor who vehemently denied it could have anything to do with shot. I got the flu February 12th. Went to Urgent care. The nurse there asked me about allergic reactions. When I said latex she had a fit and said I should have NEVER received a flu vaccine. This is for real people. I could have had a much worse outcome.
Ruth Holroyd says
WOW! Your doctor is either mis-informed or negligent. Imagine if that had been a small child who may not have coped so well with the allergen. Not good. I hope you tell your doctor!
My daughter started getting the flu shot when she was young, the reactions stated immediately. Her arm would swell, turn red and hot, she would run a fever and was just miserable. Of coarse I was told it had no relation to the latex allergy. So for the next 4 yeArs this continued to happen, with no explanation. Then we switched to the flu mist which was great until last year when they stopped making it. Now we have no options which is a concern, she suffers from migraines, asthma and under weight. We are praying to make it through this flu season without the flu. Hope they come out with something soon that will help people with allergic reactions.
Ted Harmon says
My wife can no longer get flu shots. Same reaction. Hot, swollen and red where taken. Same rection with pneumonia shot. Do you think it can be the latex.
Ruth Holroyd says
It could well be, does she react to Latex? It can be in the actual syringe, and the bung they keep the needle safe in is also made from latex. Not great for latex allergy sufferers.