Flu season is approaching: Are there Vegan options for vaccination?

If you are vegan, you do not consume any meat/dairy or any of their byproducts. Vegans are careful to avoid the use and consumption of animals, or animal-derived ingredients.  However, most would be surprised to find out that many common medicines are not vegan, and therefore the taking of them is not in line with their beliefs.

For so many years, there haven’t been many choices for strict vegans, when it came to pharma or supplements. Science has come a long way though, there are more alternatives than ever, with more to come. This is reflecting the growth of the vegan population around the world and the demand of products that come with this growing population.

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So if your beliefs are strong and will not make any exceptions, that’s totally understandable and up to the individual, especially when it comes to the flu shot or any non-vegan pharmaceutical or supplement.

So is there an alternative?

According to the FDA, there is.

They’ve indicated for active immunization against disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. Flublok is approved for use in persons 18 years of age and older.

You will have to check the availability in your area for this product, since it has just been last approved in July of 2019.  If you have the availability, you may have to travel to get it and you may want to be prepared to pay a little more as well.

Most influenza vaccines are made via an extremely complicated process that starts out with fertilized chicken eggs as a culture for the virus. This traditional method is extremely safe and effective; however, advanced technologies have arrived on the scene. Flublok is the only licensed influenza vaccine on the market that does not use eggs, antibiotics, or live influenza virus in any part of the manufacturing process. The approval represents a technological advance in the manufacturing of an influenza vaccine,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. The approval of Flublok “stands as one of the most significant improvements in flu vaccine technology in the past 50 years. The vaccine is made via a cutting edge, cell-based technology that is very similar to that used to create cervical cancer vaccines. The FDA has also referred to Flublok as Revolutionary.

According  to Jerry P. Weir, Ph.D., the director of the Division of Viral Products in the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Flublok “is an important advance that will supplement egg-based vaccines.” Flublok is also preservative-free.

Here are the benefits of the alternative Flublok:

  • Triple strength
  • No influenza virus
  • No eggs
  • No gelatin
  • No antibiotics
  • No formaldehyde
  • No thimerosal or other preservatives
  • No latex

https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/flublok-quadrivalent

Where can you get Flublok? Check out this link.

https://www.passporthealthusa.com/locations/

According to the Mayo Clinic:  Who should get vaccinated, see the following.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • Young children

Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. A 2017 study showed that the vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying of the flu. Check with your child’s doctor.

Chronic medical conditions also can increase your risk of influenza complications. Examples include:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer or cancer treatment
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Obesity

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/in-depth/flu-shots/art-20048000

Please note:  This site has no affiliation with Flublok.  Please discuss any alternatives with your physician.

Image by the Wonderful Gallery

 

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