Statement

Flu vaccinations: What you need to know

26 October 2018

Flu vaccination season is underway and we have started receiving enquiries about the vaccines on offer. This year, all flu vaccinations are grown on eggs. The vaccination for over-65s and children contain ingredients derived from animals.

Here is what we know:

• All flu vaccines this season have been grown on eggs. (In the past flu seasons there was one egg-free vaccine called Optaflu, but this product is no longer available due to its marketing license not being renewed by the license holder.) [Not vegan.]
• The flu vaccine for over-65s is an “adjuvanted” vaccine, which means that an “adjuvant” has been added to the vaccine to boost the immune system’s response.
 - The adjuvant in the over-65s flu vaccine is fish-derived squalene. [Not vegetarian or vegan.]
• The nasal spray flu vaccine offered to children between the ages of 2 and 10 includes porcine gelatine. [Not vegetarian or vegan.]

We understand many people may be conflicted about the idea of having to take non-vegetarian/vegan medicines, and some will find it upsetting. However, people should not put themselves at risk and should take medicines and vaccines they need, even if there are no vegetarian or vegan alternatives.

If you have any questions about this, please email us at info@vegsoc.org or call 0161 925 2000.

This week the BBC and The Times asked us for a comment about vaccines. Here's a link to The Times article. Our full quote is below:

“When the demand for vegetarian and vegan products is growing so rapidly, it is disappointing so many medicines and vaccines still use animal ingredients in their formulation. Many people will be conflicted about the idea of having to take non-vegetarian medicines, and some will find it upsetting. However, people should not put themselves at risk and should take medicines and vaccines they need, even if there are no vegetarian alternatives. To ensure everyone has the best chance of staying healthy and feeling good about it, vegetarian and vegan versions of all medicines and vaccines are needed.”

The Vegetarian Society is a charity powered by people like you. Find out more about joining, donating and getting involved.

Ends

Notes to editors

  • For media enquiries please email press@vegsoc.org or call 0161 925 2000

 

 

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Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358 (England and Wales),
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The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)

Fundraising Regulations