Faster method of creating flu vaccines shown to be highly effective

A research team at the Baylor College of Medicine recently published a report in The Lancet that finds a new, faster method of creating flu vaccines is just as effective as the existing methods.

The new vaccines are created using the cultures of animal cells, grown in enclosed steel tanks, as opposed to the current method, which uses chicken eggs and has been the practice for over 50 years, reports.

By using animal cells instead of chicken eggs, scientists hope to be able to reduce the vaccine production time, which takes six months or so, by several weeks, according to This could help in situations like the 2009 swine flu pandemic in which great quantities of the vaccine were not ready until the disease appeared to have crested.

The new method would also reduce the risk of bacterial contamination, which has resulted in shortages of seasonal vaccines in some years.

“I just think it’s an improvement in vaccine production that has been warranted for a long time,” Dr. W. Paul Glezen, an influenza expert at the Baylor College of Medicine said, according to, “I just feel we’ve been sort of slow in implementing it.”

Glezen also said that shorter production times would give health officials an opportunity to take more time in deciding which flu strains to include in the following year’s vaccines.