Every year, the flu virus circles the globe, infecting millions of people and causing serious illness and death.
The most effective method for preventing the flu is vaccination.1 However, the flu virus changes every year, so the vaccine must be updated to ensure that the annual vaccine is a good match.1 Most vaccine manufacturers make their annual vaccine using chicken eggs and a manufacturing system that was established in the 1940s.1
The egg-based production system is used to make almost 500 million doses of flu vaccine every year.1
Each dose of the vaccine requires the use of 1 or 2 chicken eggs, so as you can see, many millions of chicken eggs are needed
every year to produce enough vaccine for
the entire world.1
The use of chicken eggs to produce flu vaccine poses many challenges, so the increased demand and threat of a global outbreak have caused vaccine manufacturers to develop new manufacturing strategies.1,2,3
One strategy is called cell culture technology. This technology does not use chicken eggs and has been used to
generate other types of vaccines, including those for chicken pox, rotavirus, and polio, for many years.1,6,4
This innovation in flu manufacturing has the potential to boost production when more flu shots are needed,
which could be beneficial during a flu outbreak
It's produced in the USA in a flu vaccine manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina. This facility was built with support from the US government specifically to produce cell culture-based flu vaccines. The Holly Springs facility can help ensure that flu shots are available when needed.8
References: 1. Milián E, Kamen AA. Current and emerging cell culture manufacturing technologies for influenza vaccines. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015(504831) http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/50483110.1155/2015/504831. 2. Ping J, Lopes TJ, Nidom CA, et al. Development of high-yield influenza A virus vaccine viruses. Nat Commun. 2015;6:8148. doi:10.1038/ncomms9148. 3. Gregersen JP, Schmitt HJ, Trusheim H, Bröker M. Safety of MDCK cell culture-based influenza vaccines. Future Microbiol. 2011;6(2):143-152. doi:10.2217/fmb.10.161. 4. How influenza (flu) vaccines are made. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/how-fluvaccine-made.htm. Updated 2015. Accessed March 30, 2016. 5. Perdue ML, Arnold F, Li S, et al. The future of cell culture-based influenza vaccine production. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011;10(8):1183-1194. doi:10.1586/erv.11.82. 6. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves first seasonal influenza vaccine manufactured using cell culture technology. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm328982.htm. Updated 2012. Accessed March 30, 2016. 7. Seqirus receives FDA approval for FLUCELVAX QUADRIVALENT for people four years of age and older. Seqirus website. http://www.seqirus-us.com/news-room/FDA-approval-FLUCELVAX-QUADRIVALENT. Updated May 2016. Accessed June 8, 2016. 8. US Department of Health and Human Services. A milestone in protection from influenza. http://www.hhs.gov/news/ press/2014pres/06/20140617a.html. Updated 2014. Accessed September 9, 2015.
FLUCELVAX QUADRIVALENT is a vaccine that helps protect against influenza (flu). FLUCELVAX is for people aged 4 and older. Vaccination with FLUCELVAX QUADRIVALENT may not protect all people who receive the vaccine.
You should not get FLUCELVAX QUADRIVALENT if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.