Can't Have an Omelette, but can Still Get the Flu Shot

FluBlok flu vaccine made without eggs is recommended for those with egg allergies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) The flu vaccine is one vital part of reducing your risk of flu. But what if you're allergic to eggs, which are used to make flu vaccines? There's a new option for you.

The committee in charge of vaccines at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a new vaccine for those with egg allergies.

FluBlok is a new flu vaccine, and neither chicken eggs nor the influenza virus are used to make it.

It has been officially recommended for the 2013-2014 flu season by the the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

"Ask your doctor about the flu vaccine."

ACIP is the CDC committee that makes all recommendations for immunizations policy in the US.

They voted 13-0 on June 20 to recommend FluBlok for all adults aged 18 to 49 who have an egg allergy of any severity.

The US Food and Drug Administration licensed FluBlok in January 2013. The vaccine is a trivalent vaccine, which means it can protect against three different strains of the virus.

Even though eggs are not used in the manufacturing process for FluBlok, the way it is made is similar to other vaccines that the FDA has approved.

FluBlok can be manufactured more quickly than other flu vaccines since it does not require an available egg supply, but it also does not last as long as other flu vaccines.

FluBlok expires 16 weeks (about 4 months) after it is produced, so your healthcare provider should check the expiration date of all FluBlok doses before giving it to patients.

The most common side effects reported for FluBlok are pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

Before approval, the FDA reviewed the evidence from four clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of FluBlok that involved 7,754 participants total.

Two studies tested adults aged 18 to 49, one tested adults aged 50 to 64 and one tested adults aged 65 and over. The vaccine showed lower effectiveness for the older population.

It was tested against placebos (fake vaccines) and against other flu vaccines to ensure that it worked as well as other vaccines against influenza.

If you have an egg allergy and FluBlok is not available, you should ask your doctor about your options for flu vaccination.

Some individuals with egg allergies can receive flu vaccines that are made from eggs.

The CDC announced this information on their website on June 20.

Review Date: 
June 25, 2013
Last Updated:
August 12, 2013