What are the influenza vaccine options?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Because the influenza vaccine was traditionally produced by using fertilized chicken eggs, it was contraindicated in persons who have had severe allergic reactions to eggs. In November 2012, however, the FDA approved an influenza vaccine produced by using cultured animal cells of mammalian origin (Flucelvax) for prevention of seasonal influenza in people ages 18 years and older. [60] Nonetheless, during the 2017-2018 flu season, Flucelvax was not as effective as had been hoped in reducing hospitalizations among elderly patients (≥65 y) with influenza, although this vaccine performed the best among all other flu vaccines in this measure. [61]

In January 2013, the FDA approved Flublok (Protein Sciences), a trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine produced by means of a technique that may allow faster vaccine manufacture in influenza pandemics. [62, 63] The manufacturing process for Flublok, which is indicated for adults aged 18-49 years, uses recombinant DNA technology and an insect virus expression system rather than the traditional embryonated chicken egg technique, and it does not utilize influenza viruses. The ACIP recommends FluBlok for vaccination of adults aged 18 years or older with egg allergy of any severity. [9]


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