Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine
Winter in the UK always highlights the time, especially for the elderly, to prescribe to having NHS flu jabs in order to protect them from catching influenza.
The flu vaccine is made available by the NHS every year and is an important vaccination, especially for the vulnerable people in the UK.
The vaccine has been created to give the best protection against the main types of flu viruses.
However, there are many people living in the UK from South Asian communities who do not consume eggs, meat, fish. and anything made with these in them. Including people who have become or are vegans.
Therefore, it is very important for these people in society to be aware that some flu vaccines are made from eggs or contains ingredients related to eggs.
The section on the flu vaccine NHS website states:
Who should not have the flu vaccine
Most adults can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs.
Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.
If you’re ill with a high temperature, it’s best to wait until you’re better before having the flu vaccine.
Hence, from this statement, it’s clear that if you do not consume eggs or products made from eggs in any manner, you must speak to you GP or pharmacist and make sure you are given an egg-free vaccine.
By having the flu vaccine, it can help you stop spreading the flu among other people, especially those who are at risk from health problems impacted by the flu.
Who is Eligible for the Flu Vaccine?
The flu jabs are offered especially to a subset of society who are eligible for them. These include the following.
- people who are aged 50 and over
- pregnant women
- sufferers of certain health conditions
- people with long term health conditions – including diabetes, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, being overweight (BMI over 40), chronic kidney disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, sickle cell disease and a weakened immune system
- people in long-stay residential care
- people in receipt of a carer’s allowance or the main carer for an older or disabled person
- people who live with someone who is at high risk from Covid-19
- health or social care workers on the frontline.
Once the flu jab has been administered, it can take between 10 to 14 days for the vaccine to work effectively.
You can get some side effects after having the vaccine given to you. These include a slightly raised temperature, muscle aches or a sore arm where the needle went in, especially for those aged over 65.
Covid-19 and the Flu
With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, taking the flu vaccine has become even more important.
- If you are at higher risk from Covid-19, the risk of problems from flu is higher
- You are more likely to be seriously ill if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time according to research
- If you have had coronavirus, it is safe to have the flu vaccine
Flu Vaccine Types
There are two types of flu vaccine given to different age groups.
Adults aged between 18-64 are given flu vaccines which include egg-free ones.
Adults aged over 65, are given the most common type of vaccine, which contains an extra ingredient to enhance the immune system to make it stronger.
Therefore, having the flu vaccine is an important protection to have to avoid you getting influenza, however, do note that you must clarify to your health practitioner that you want an egg-free version if eggs are not part of your diet.
It is always important to check the ingredients of vaccines and medication to ensure it does not violate your requirements if you are a Lacto-vegetarian or vegan.