Flu jab: Vaccine poses egg allergy risk – is there an alternative and can vegans have it?


Flu jabs become available every year at this time of year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. The illness can be more severe in certain people, such as anyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition, and children and adults with weakened immune systems, so for these groups of people, the vaccine is free-of-charge. For others, the jab is available at a small cost at GP surgeries and some pharmacies and supermarkets. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an “unpredictable virus”, says the NHS, and studies have shown the flu vaccine will help prevent people from getting the flu.

But some flu vaccines do come with an egg allergy risk because they’re made using eggs.

So is there an alternative for people with egg allergies, and does this mean vegans can’t have it?

Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, explained to Express.co.uk: “People with egg allergies have been found to have a reaction to the jab, but there are now more alternative available which are egg-free or with lower egg content.

“The vaccine is incubated in eggs, making them inherently not vegan.

“It would be worth vegans chatting to their GP or pharmacist about alternative options.

“It is not advisable to miss your flu jab, especially if you have a medical condition which could be made worse by the flu.”

The NHS explains: “In recent years, flu vaccines that are egg-free have become available.

“If an egg-free flu vaccine is not available, a GP may be able to find a suitable flu vaccine with a low egg content.

“Depending on the severity of your egg allergy, the GP may decide to refer you to a specialist to have the vaccination in hospital.

“If your child has needed intensive care because of an allergic reaction to egg, you should seek the advice of their specialist.

“Your child may need to have the nasal spray vaccine in hospital.”

The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:

Adults 65 and over
People with certain medical condition (including children in at-risk groups from six months of age)
Pregnant women
Children aged two and three on 31 August 2019
Children in primary school
Frontline health or social care workers

For those who don’t fall into these groups, you can pay and book to have the vaccine at your GP surgery or the following pharmacies and supermarkets. Most also offer the free jab on the NHS.


The vaccine at Asda Pharmacy is £7 and booking are available now.


Superdrug is providing a walk-in vaccination service. The cost of the jab is £9.99.


From October, vaccinations will be available at selected Tesco Pharmacy stores in England and Wales.

You’ll be bale to make an appointment to have one, or receive one straight away after filling in a short questionnaire.

It takes 15 minutes, during which the pharmacist will explain the process and answer any queries, and costs just £10.

Lloyds Pharmacy

The flu vaccine at Lloyds is just £11.50. The healthcare team at your local pharmacist will …read more

Source:: Daily times


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