FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Research and Development

FDA Considers Alternative Flu Vaccine Production Methods

March 5, 2018

Researchers at the FDA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are considering whether a cell-based influenza vaccine might be more effective than the egg-based vaccine that did not prove very effective against this year’s H3N2 flu strain, according to Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

The two agencies produced a preliminary finding suggesting the egg-based vaccine might be less effective than the cell-based vaccine, and the FDA intends to follow up on those results, in addition to looking for other reasons this season’s vaccines were less effective against H3N2, Gottlieb said.

The CMS and FDA are using a database that includes the details of over four million flu vaccines administered to patients, in addition to whether they were hospitalized for influenza or treated with antiviral medications for an influenza-like illness, to determine why both egg-based and cell-based vaccines were less effective.

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