Earlier this year we looked at a new way of delivering influenza vaccine painlessly by using microneedle patches. Alice Park clues us in on a new technology that Novartis is using this flu season to produce more flu vaccine, more quickly:
The vaccine is made without growing the influenza virus in chicken eggs, which is the way that flu shots were made for more than four decades. Instead, Flucelvax is grown in kidney cells from dogs. The technology means that the shot can be made in less time than a traditional flu shot—enough virus can be churned out in about 65 hours to 75 hours, compared to the six months or so it takes to grow in chicken eggs. It also means that people who are allergic to eggs now have another option for getting immunized against the flu.
Clinical trials show this new influenza vaccine to be as safe and effective as all the other ones. Because this cell-based technology can produce flu vaccine in a matter of hours instead of months, it could come in handy in the event of a worldwide influenza pandemic.
Watch the video describing this new technology here. And if your children haven’t received their flu vaccine yet, please give our offices a call to schedule a time to get one!
(* With apologies to Keller Williams, but it’s a really good song!)