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With the flu season upon us, everyone is keen on getting their vaccine in time. You should be more interested in getting the vaccine if you are in contact with kids younger than five years old as they are more susceptible to influenza. While most people will be comfortable with getting a WHO certified shot, others are interested in knowing how flu vaccines are made.
Why Should You Care about How the Vaccine is Made?
Even though all the influenza vaccines in circulation meet the FDA safety and efficiency standards, some people will still react with different strains of the vaccine. The most common intolerance is to egg-based vaccines that will affect protein intolerant individuals. Knowing how a vaccine was made will help you choose the perfect kind for your body.
Other than this, there is no any other profound reason to finding out the manufacture procedure other than sating your curiosity.
The flu vaccine you find in the market will be
- Egg based
- Cell based
This comes first as it is the cheapest and most efficient procedure. It’s been the procedure of choice for over 70 years now and results in the inactive vaccine strain and an attenuated vaccine.
Egg-based vaccines begin with injecting fertilized hen eggs with the right vaccine virus and letting the egg incubate for a while. After this, the virus portent fluid is harvested for processing. The manufacturer will either kill/inactivate the virus to create the flu shot or attenuate (reduce its virility) to create the nasal spray.
Recombinant flu vaccine generation is the latest kid in the block. Certified for use in the US on 2013, the procedure is perfect for generating vaccines for anyone intolerant to egg grown shots or nasal sprays. The procedure isolates a protein from a natural vaccine virus. This could be the HA protein than activates natural immune response in the human body.
Combining the protein with another protein found in insect cells and letting the now recombinant vaccine virus to replicate forms the backbone of the procedure. The flu HA protein is finally retrieved from the cells, purified and examined by FDA before being approved for distribution.
It is the only 100% egg free vaccine type in the US market.
Cell Based Flu Vaccine
The procedure begins with an egg-grown vaccine virus that is compliant to the FDA regulations. The manufacturer will then mix the virus with cultured mammal cells for replication. This is a bit different since the procedure doesn’t use eggs for incubation.
The virus will then be extracted from the fluid, purified and tested. While this procedure still relies on hen eggs to produce the seed virus, the fact that the vaccine you will get in your shot comes from a mammalian cell culture makes it more bearable to individuals allergic to the egg-based flu.
Less dependency on eggs also means that the procedure is a fraction faster and sometimes a convenience when the hen eggs aren’t readily available.
Even though a good fraction of the population might react to flu shots and nasal sprays with a tincture of egg protein in them, the egg based and cell based purification procedures are getting good by time. This is great news since recombinant flu vaccines aren’t that common as they use a relatively recent technique that is yet to be fully embraced.