Differences Between Egg-based and Cell-based Flu Vaccines

Opinion
Video

Todd Wolynn, MD, continues the discussion on egg-based vs cell-based influenza vaccines in pediatric populations, commenting on the limitations and concerns with traditional egg-based formulations.

This is a video synopsis/summary of a panel discussion involving Todd Wolynn, MD.

For over 6 decades, influenza vaccines have been manufactured using an egg-based process, involving the growth of the virus in embryonated chicken eggs. However, this method presents challenges such as "egg adaptation," leading to genetic changes in the vaccine material during the growth process. In contrast, cell-based technology utilizes mammalian cells as the substrate for virus growth, eliminating egg adaptation issues. The resulting virus closely aligns with the targeted wild type, providing a more accurate match for vaccine production.

Cell-based manufacturing offers advantages over egg-based methods. It is faster, more scalable, and avoids the limitations associated with egg use, providing a higher yield. The alignment between the vaccine and the targeted wild type is crucial for optimal antibody production, especially in pediatric immunizations. Mammalian cell-based manufacturing aims to enhance the response to influenza exposure, ultimately improving vaccine effectiveness by approximately 10% compared to egg-based production.

The World Health Organization identifies strains for influenza vaccine production, aligning with the Southern Hemisphere for Northern Hemisphere distribution. The closer the alignment between the vaccine and the targeted wild type, the better the antibody production, potentially preventing or minimizing disease. The transition to cell-based manufacturing addresses issues with egg adaptation, providing a more efficient and effective process. This shift not only improves vaccine alignment but also contributes to enhanced scalability and speed in production, demonstrating promising benefits in influenza prevention, particularly in pediatric populations.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by Contemporary Pediatrics editorial staff.

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