Egg-free vaccine receives FDA approval for distribution

Flublok, an egg-free flu vaccine developed by the Meriden, Connecticut-based Protein Sciences Corporation, recently received approval for distribution by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccine uses the small part of the virus needed for immunity and grows it in insect cells. The vaccine is the first flu immunization to use this type of recombinant DNA technology, YNN reports.

“This product does not use a live influenza virus in the production process,” Manon Cox, the CEO of Protein Sciences Corporation, said, according to YNN. “There are no additives in the vaccine, no thimerosal (mercury), no preservatives, no antibiotics. So it’s really a pure protein.”

The new vaccine technology would take approximately half the time to produce as the traditional egg-based method. The vaccine will also be an option for people with egg allergies.

“Two to three percent of our employees have egg allergies or some other type of allergies, so that provides them for some opportunity to be vaccinated against the flu,” David Martin, an infection specialist at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York, said, according to YNN.

The company has approximately 150,000 doses available for distribution. Starting in 2014, the company will be able to produce between two and three million doses in its Pearl River, New York-based facility.

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