Is Shingrix Safe If You Have An Egg Allergy?

Those will egg allergies are often concerned about whether or not a particular vaccine could cause a serious reaction. Fortunately, Shingrix does not contain egg proteins.

Question

Does the shingles shot (Shingrix) pose a risk for someone with egg allergies?

Asked by Fussy On Mar 30, 2019

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Apr 03, 2019
Eggs with text over
Egg allergies are a concern in those receiving vaccines.

Overview

Shingrix, the recommended vaccine for the prevention of shingles according to the CDC, is safe to get if you have an egg allergy.[1] No component of the vaccine contains egg proteins.[2]

Furthermore, the prescribing information for Shingrix does not list an egg allergy as a contraindication, or even as a precaution, to getting the vaccine, so you can feel comfortable having it administered.

Components Of Shingrix

The Shingrix vaccine contains two components:

  • Shingles antigen (i.e. varicella zoster virus surface glycoprotein E (gE) antigen)
  • AS01B adjuvant

The shingles antigen (also referred to as the gE antigen) confers the immunity to shingles while the AS01B adjuvant is designed to increase immune responses to the antigen, making it more effective.[3]

Unlike many flu vaccines, which are manufactured using an egg-based production process, the antigen contained in the Shingrix vaccine is obtained by culturing genetically engineered Chinese Hamster Ovary cells.[4]

The adjuvant in Shingrix, AS01B, also contains no egg proteins. It is derived from Salmonella minnesota and an extract from Quillaja saponaria Molina (also known as soapbark).

The following is an excerpt from the prescribing information for Shingrix describing where the components of the vaccine are derived from:

"The gE antigen is obtained by culturing genetically engineered Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, which carry a truncated gE gene, in media containing amino acids, with no albumin, antibiotics, 9 or animal-derived proteins. The gE protein is purified by several chromatographic steps, formulated with excipients, filled into vials, and lyophilized.

The adjuvant suspension component is AS01B which is composed of 3-O-desacyl-4’- monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) from Salmonella minnesota and QS-21, a saponin purified from plant extract Quillaja saponaria Molina, combined in a liposomal formulation."

The complete list of components in the shingles vaccine is as follows:

  • 50 mcg recombinant gE antigen
  • 50 mcg 3-O-desacyl-4’- monophosphoryl lipid A (MP)
  • 50 mcg QS-21
  • 20 mg sucrose
  • 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
  • Residual amounts of host cell proteins and DNA

The vial stoppers for Shingrix do not contain latex.

Egg Allergies And Vaccines

While serious reactions to vaccines are rare, even if you have an egg allergy, it is important to let your doctor know about any allergy you may have.

In those who do have an egg allergy, the CDC still recommends getting a vaccine that may contain egg proteins (like many flu-vaccines), but certain extended monitoring precautions may be needed.[5]

As described in this article, however, since the Shingrix vaccine does not contain egg proteins, those with an egg allergy need not be concerned (but be sure to report any other allergies you may have to the individual administering the vaccine).

Summary

Shingrix does not contain egg proteins and is safe to have administered if you have an egg allergy.

References
  1. ^ Shingrix Vaccination Report. Centers for Disease Control
  2. ^ Shingrix Prescribing Information. Shingrix.com
  3. ^ What Is a Vaccine Adjuvant? NIH
  4. ^ How Influenza (Flu) Vaccines Are Made Centers for Disease Control
  5. ^ Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines, 2018-19 Centers for Disease Control

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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