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New flu vaccine safe for people with egg allergies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 8, 2013

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The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended Flublok for the 2013-14 flu season as a vaccine for people age 18 to 49 who have an egg allergy of any severity.

Flublok, made by Protein Sciences Corp., is different than other vaccines because it does not use the influenza virus or chicken eggs in its manufacturing process.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the trivalent influenza vaccine in January. The vaccine has a shorter shelf life (an expiration of 16 weeks from production) compared with other vaccines, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link). The agency recommends that health care professionals check the expiration date before giving Flublok to patients.

Manufacture of the vaccine has the potential for a faster startup in the event of a pandemic or vaccine supply shortage, mainly because it is not dependent on an egg supply or limited by the selection of strains adapted for growth in eggs, the CDC said.

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