SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Obama's advisors identify vaccine fixes

Quicker identification of pandemic viruses and a switch from egg to cell-based production were short term measures President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology made to help quicken influenza vaccine production, according to a report by

Under short term measures, the advisory council also recommended updated fill and finish facilities, quicker and more efficient methods of sterility testing and better seed strains. More reliable and accurate potency test reagents were also listed under short term goals.

The recommendations come on the heels of last year’s delays in the production of H1N1 vaccines.

The advisory council also listed several long-term recommendations that included the development of three recombinant flu vaccines. The council also suggested incentives for cell-culture production facilities and the development of a universal flu vaccine.

Another long-term item that was suggested was the implementation of a new federal body that would eventually oversee strategies for vaccine production.

Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Defense efforts continue to advance vaccine manufacturing. The DoD has spent $1.5 million in funding for Biovest International to develop fast and cost-effective biomanufacturing solutions for vaccines to ward off and treat infectious diseases and cancers.

The work involves adapting Biovest's automated bioreactor system into a rapid viral vaccine production platform, according to the report.