Interferon α2 is an antiviral/antiproliferative protein that is currently used to treat hepatitis C infections and several forms of cancer. Two PEGylated variants of interferon α2 (containing 12 and 40 kDa PEGs) are currently marketed and display longer plasma circulation times than that of unmodified interferon. With increasing realization that the lymphatic system plays an important role in the extrahepatic replication of the hepatitis C virus and in the metastatic dissemination of cancers, this study sought to evaluate PEGylation strategies to optimally enhance the antiviral activity and plasma and lymphatic exposure of interferon after subcutaneous administration in rats. The results showed that conjugation with a linear 20 kDa PEG provided the most ideal balance between activity and plasma and lymph exposure. A linear 5 kDa PEG variant also exhibited excellent plasma and lymph exposure to interferon activity when compared to those of unmodified interferon and the clinically available linear 12 kDa PEGylated construct.