Monday , October 3 2022

The flu shot gets a boost from dispensing with the 1940s technology


CRAFTING Better Flu shots come to dispensing with the 1940s technology, according to CSL Inc., which said the new method of vaccine production may offer better protection against the virus that killed nearly 200 American children last season.

Flucelvax, a vaccine produced by the Seqirus unit of CSL with cell-based technology, was 36.2 percent more effective in preventing flu-like illnesses last winter than conventional shots made using chicken eggs, the Melbourne company reported.

The vaccine is recognized as the best way to protect against respiratory diseases, which kills up to 650,000 people every year. However, injection efficiency varies from year to year, depending on the proximity of the game between the viruses cycle of the season and the vaccine, which is usually re-year. While eggs have been used to breed influenza viruses to make vaccines for decades, scientists have found that once inside the swamp, the flu tends to undergo adaptive changes that make it more suitable for poultry, not people. Increasing Viruses Vaccines in mammalian cell culture aims to avoid the problem.

"This is real progress," said Paul Perreault, CEO of CSL, in a telephone interview. This tends to give better fit and will greatly help in confidence for consumers to get out and get a vaccine. "

The chance of better protection comes at a higher price. Cicarus, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, announced that Flucelvax has a price of $ 20.47 (RM85.77) for a standard dose of 0.5 ml – slightly more than eggs based on eggs such as Fluzone, Fluarix and FluLaval, Between $ 15 and $ 17, according to Bloomberg data. An alternative approach without the eggs of Sanofi in Paris, called Flublok, uses recombinant proteins to genetically adapt to the prevailing species.

& # 39; Easy premium & # 39;

"There is a slight premium on the cells based, and it should be if it is more efficient," said Perreault.

Seqirus made 21 million doses using technology during the 2017-2018 season at a plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina. A recently approved process improvement program by the US Food and Drug Administration will allow it to increase supply and respond more quickly in case of a flu pandemic or lack of vaccines.

"With vaccines based on eggs, you need to order more eggs and need more chickens," Perreault said. "But cells can be produced immediately."

The company collected electronic medical records from 92,192 people who received cell-based vaccines and 1,255,983 people who received an egg-based vaccine during the last flu season between August 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. The sample population included US patients aged 4 who received any form of primary care .

The last 2017-2018 North American flu season, in which the H3N2 strain was controlled, was particularly bad, resulting in approximately 900,000 hospitalizations, including 185 child deaths, in the US alone.

The decline last season reduced the overall risk of a person needing medical attention in the doctor's office for flu disease by 40 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in Atlanta this month. The efficiency of the H3N2 strain was 25%.

So-called engineered egg changes to viruses used in the vaccine may have contributed. This production method was discovered by Nobel laureate Frank McParlane Burnett in Melbourne in the 1940s and the routine use by vaccine manufacturers since then. Bloomberg –

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