CDC advisory committee issues recommendation for egg-free vaccine option

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently voted unanimously in favor of recommending FluBlok next flu season for use in individuals with egg allergies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The ACIP voted 13-0 on June 20 in favor of recommending the vaccine for individuals aged 18 through 49 with egg allergies of any severity for the 2013-2014 influenza season. Unlike the current production methods for available seasonal influenza vaccines, FluBlok does not use chicken eggs or the influenza virus in its process of manufacturing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration licensed FluBlok in January.

The ACIP recommends that individuals with severe egg allergies consult with a physician about their allergies before getting vaccinated if FluBlok is not available.

FluBlok is a trivalent influenza vaccine that uses a manufacturing process similar to the process used to make vaccines approved by the FDA for the prevention of other diseases. The manufacturing process has potential for faster startup of vaccine manufacturing, which can be helpful in the event of a vaccine supply shortage or pandemic. The process is faster because it does not depend on an egg supply and is not limited by the selection of strains adapted for growth in eggs.