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Medicine Science

Egg-free Flu Vaccines Provide Faster Pandemic Response 64

eggboard writes "Jen A. Miller has an egg allergy of a variety that her doctor has told her could produce a severe reaction if she were vaccinated for the flu, as flu vaccines are grown from viral strains incubated in chicken eggs. But, she explains, two new approaches have been approved by the FDA and are in production that don't use eggs at all; they're on the market in small amounts already, but will be available in much larger quantities soon. It's not just about egg allergies: the new vaccine types (one relying in insect proteins and the other on animal proteins) provide a much faster turnaround time in response to flu pandemics — as little as two to three months from isolation of a strain to mass production instead of at least six months with eggs."
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Egg-free Flu Vaccines Provide Faster Pandemic Response

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  • Re:Insects? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:57PM (#46291203)

    We eat more insect bits in our breakfast cereal than most people realize.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a proportion of the population were allergic to grasshoppers but -- given how ubiquitous exposure to insect proteins is -- drop-dead anaphylactic reactions are going to be unlikely to be revealed for the first time with a flu shot.

  • Flublok Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:06PM (#46291271)

    I received the Flublok vaccine several months ago, having sought it out due to a egg allergy. Paid around ~$30 at my local pharmacy, and had to wait a few days after my initial inquiry, for them to get it in stock. While my allergy is mild, the traditional flu vaccine still leaves me with mild muscle aches and malaise that lasts for several days.

    As a medical student, I am required receive the flu vaccination each year (exemptions for certain severe reactions only). This year's flu vaccination was the easiest ever -- over the next few days, there were no noticeable adverse reaction at all.


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