Health

New cell-based flu vaccine to be rolled out this month

For the first time this winter, a new cell-based influenza vaccine will be introduced in Australia with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of national vaccination programs.

A new vaccine known as FlucelvaxIs a gradual replacement for the current protein-based vaccines that have been used since the 1930s and is given to both adults and children 9 years and older.

According to experts, cell-based technology is superior to its predecessor because it can be designed to more effectively reflect a particular influenza strain.

Unlike protein-based formulations, scientists can grow the influenza virus in the laboratory without mutating it. This will then allow you to create a vaccine that better matches the influenza strains that may be prevalent that year, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). This can improve the effectiveness of the flu vaccine by 5-10%.

The basic material is also a draw card. The new vaccine uses cultured dog kidney cells, while protein-based jabs use chicken eggs. This option is claimed to be more ethical and sustainable, given that the new formulation can be replicated in the laboratory from “eternal cell lines” rather than from dog killings. The ability to store and freeze these cells also means that manufacturing can be scaled up quickly.

In contrast, older recipes require millions of eggs to meet the country’s supply and remain vulnerable to the supply chain. In addition, it can take up to 6 months to manufacture. This is much longer than the cell-based option.

However, there are some concerns about new cell-based vaccine technology. The safety and efficacy of the prescription has not yet been established for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Both are recommended to be used only when “obviously needed”. This is a potential problem as this cohort is one of the highest risk groups for influenza and is a major target for vaccination programs.

The efficacy rate of the new vaccine is much more modest even in the elderly. This is another important risk category and a major priority for vaccination.According to one study, the new Flucelvax vaccine 26.5% valid Among people over the age of 65, compared to 24% of traditional jabs.

Moreover, given its early stages, new vaccines are not scaled enough to offer better prices than protein-based vaccines. This can mean that authorities will procure it more carefully until the effectiveness rate is better proven in the real world. However, cell culture technology has already been used to vaccine polio, smallpox, hepatitis, rubella, chickenpox, and rotavirus, demonstrating high efficacy rates for each.

The new influenza vaccine, which has just been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA), will be available in Australia from April 2021.

Image Credit: © stock.adobe.com / au / LeePrather

New cell-based flu vaccine to be rolled out this month Source link New cell-based flu vaccine to be rolled out this month

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