BLUFThis year for the first time, Australians will have access to a new cell-based influenza vaccine that is more effective than the traditional egg-based flu vaccine.
Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the much-publicised development of vaccines, we could almost be excused for forgetting about the potentially dangerous influenza viruses we risk contracting each year. Since the 1930s, Australians have had access to a chicken-egg-based vaccine to protect against some of the more dangerous seasonal flu strains: see, How Influenza (Flu) Vaccines Are Made. This year, for the first time, Australians will have access to a new cell-based flu vaccine. The new, optional vaccine is claimed to be up to 10 per cent more effective than egg-based flu vaccine and doesn't require a few million eggs to aid with its manufacture. Instead, the new technology uses cells from a dog's kidney. It is worth noting the following from the article reference the use of cells from a dog:
'It's what they call an eternal cell line—it keeps dividing, and so we're not sacrificing dogs, Professor Booy explained'.
- Nov 2020 BioProcess International Seqirus injects $580m into Australian cell-based flu vaccine plant
- Nov 2021 Pharmaceutical Tech Seqirus’ Influenza Vaccine Manufacturing Facility, Melbourne
- Mar 2021 AJP From eggs to cells
- Mar 2021 The Conversation Yes, COVID vaccines are front and centre. But don’t forget about your flu shot