Soy Bean Title

Overview

Allergies and sensitivities are a major concern and need to be taken into account in all situations. It can sometimes to difficult to discern whether or not a particular medication is safe, as a complete list of ingredients is not always accessible.

When it comes to Shingrix, the recommended vaccine for shingles, we posted an article recently detailing the complete ingredient list:

  • 50 mcg recombinant gE antigen
  • 50 mcg MPL
  • 50mcg QS-21
  • 20 mg sucrose (as a stabilizer)
  • 4.385 mg sodium chloride
  • 1 mg DOPC
  • 0.54 mg potassium dihydrogen phosphate
  • 0.25 mg cholesterol
  • 0.160 mg sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate
  • 0.15 mg disodium phosphate anhydrous
  • 0.116 mg dipotassium phosphate
  • 0.08 mg polysorbate 80
  • Host cell proteins (≤3.0% DNA (≤2.1 picograms) from the manufacturing process

Soy In Shingrix

The prescribing information for Shingrix, unfortunately, does not list any information regarding soy and whether or not it is safe for those with a soy allergy.

We reached out to GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) for additional information regarding the soy content of Shingrix. We received the following response:

"Common soy bean allergens such as hydrophobic protein from soybean, profilin, beta-conglycinin, glycinin, seed biotinylated protein, 2S albumin, and lectin/agglutinin, are not knowingly used in the formulation of Shingrix or as raw materials during the manufacturing process.

No analytical verification has been performed specifically to detect the presence of the above common soy bean allergens in Shingrix.

As with all vaccines, appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of a rare anaphylactic reaction following the administration of the vaccine."

- GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) Personal Communication November 1, 2018

Although unlikely, there theoretically may be a small chance of soybean/allergen exposure during the manufacturing process, which may be why Shingrix is not labeled or classified as 'soy-free'.

You most likely will not have any allergic response to Shingrix in regard to your soy allergy as soy is not "knowingly" used in the production process. Nevertheless, there is of course always the chance of an allergy or sensitivity to another component.

As mentioned above, it is important that appropriate medical treatment and supervision be readily available at the location you choose to be vaccinated in case a medical emergency takes place (e.g. anaphylaxis). Best practices for vaccine administration, provided by ACIP, recommend that vaccine providers observe vaccinated individuals for 15 minutes after vaccination.


Summary

  • Soy beans and associated allergens (e.g. profilin, beta-conglycinin, glycinin, seed biotinylated protein, 2S albumin, and lectin/agglutinin) are not knowingly added or used in the manufacturing process of the Shingrix vaccine.
  • However, analytical testing to detect the presence of soy and related allergens in Shingrix has not been done.

  • References
    1. Personal Communication: GSK On November 1, 2018
    2. Ask the Experts. NEJM
    3. Shingrix Recommendations. CDC