Alternative Flu Vaccines: Flucelvax vs FluBlok

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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FluBlok and Flucelvax are two different options for the flu shot that may be for you if you have any allergies or concerns about the vaccine manufacturing process. Here’s what you need to know.

What is FluBlok?
FluBlok is a flu vaccine that does not contain eggs in any stage of making the vaccine. It is safe to use in adults 18 and older who are allergic to eggs.

According to the manufacturer, FluBlok is the only licensed flu vaccine that does not use eggs, antibiotics, or influenza virus in any part of the manufacturing process. FluBlok also does not contain thimerosal, gelatin, or latex.

You can find more information about FluBlok here.

What about Flucelvax?
Flucelvax is the first and only flu vaccine that has been approved by the FDA to use cell culture technology. What does that mean? Flucelvax is produced in closed bioreactors (basically huge metal drums), which eliminates the need to use antibiotics to create the vaccine.

Unlike the standard flu vaccine, Flucelvax doesn’t contain antibiotics or preservatives. However, it does still contain egg protein.

Flucelvax is safe to use in adults 18 and older. There are no age restrictions after the age of 18.

You can find more information about Flucelvax here.

Bottom line?
Flucelvax is an alternative option for the flu vaccine that does not contain antibiotics or preservatives. FluBlok is for anyone who is allergic to eggs.

If you are allergic to eggs, you should NOT get Flucelvax for your yearly shot—FluBlok is the ONLY vaccine indicated for anyone with an egg allergy.

Update 5/22/2015: Flublok was previously approved for use in adults ages 18 – 49; it is now approved for all adults 18 and over.

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