Non-Egg Based Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Best For Seniors
Flublok Quadrivalent vaccine does not contain influenza virus, antibiotics, formaldehyde, preservatives, egg protein, latex, gluten or gelatin
It's hard to know which flu shot is best for any individual, but given the updated information, I’ll take my flu shot without eggs this year.
That’s what the 2017 data is indicating for anyone older than 50 years of age.
A recent clinical trial reported the superiority of non-egg based flu vaccines over the traditional egg-based quadrivalent inactivated vaccine.
The data published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Seniors (50+) given Flublok® Quadrivalent were over 40% less likely to develop culture-confirmed influenza.
Flublok was reported to contain three times more active ingredients than traditional vaccines and produced significantly higher immune responses to the A strains of influenza, especially H3N2, according to a study.
Furthermore, Flublok Quadrivalent is the first and only high antigen-content quadrivalent flu vaccine that, with its high efficacy, makes it ideal for older adults and those with a compromised immune system.
"This clinical study shows that Flublok® Quadrivalent, produced with modern recombinant technology can provide better protection against confirmed influenza-like illness among older adults, than standard-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine produced with traditional technology," said Lisa Dunkle MD, Chief Medical Officer of Protein Sciences.
A major cause for the egg-based vaccines lack in effectiveness in 2017 has been attributed to the vaccine production process.
Flublok is the only flu vaccine produced without the use of eggs and therefore is not subject to the mutations that are sometimes introduced into the vaccine during the process of egg adaptation that can cause the traditional vaccines to be ineffective (see Skowronski et al. (2014) PLOS ONE 9(3), e92153).
Flublok is highly purified and does not contain influenza virus, antibiotics, formaldehyde, preservatives, egg protein, latex, gluten or gelatin unlike other flu vaccines. Flublok Quadrivalent was FDA approved in 2016 for adults 18 and older.
When comparing Flublok with the reported low-efficacy (30%) of 2017s egg-based H3N2 influenza vaccines, seniors should seek advice from a doctor or pharmacists when making a flu shot selection.
The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months get a flu shot.
People 65 years and older can get any injectable vaccine (flu shot) that is approved for use in that age group. This includes cell-based, recombinant and flu shots made using traditional egg-based manufacturing processes.
There are two vaccines designed specifically for people 65 and older. A high dose vaccine and an adjuvant vaccine. Most pharmacies in the USA offer several FDA approved flu vaccines.
The flu shot cost varies depending upon your insurance and which state you live. The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.
Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.
For further information on influenza, please visit the CDC website.
- Efficacy of Recombinant Influenza Vaccine in Adults 50 Years of Age or Older
- Low 2012–13 Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Associated with Mutation in the Egg-Adapted H3N2 Vaccine Strain Not Antigenic Drift
- Superior Protection by Flublok® Influenza Vaccine in Seniors Documented in New England Journal of Medicine
- Penn Study Pinpoints H3N2 Mutation in Last Year’s Flu Vaccine as Responsible for Lowered Efficacy
- A structural explanation for the low effectiveness of the seasonal influenza H3N2 vaccine
- Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness, 2016-17
- H3N2 Mutation in Flu Vaccine Responsible for Reduced Efficacy