Cell-Based Flu Vaccine Reported 36% More Effective

Seqirus says cell-based influenza vaccines deliver more protection than standard egg-based flu vaccines

According to a new study, people who were vaccinated during the 2017/18 influenza season with the cell-based, quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc)] were 36.2 percent less likely to display influenza-like illness. 

When produced completely outside of the egg-based flu vaccine process, cell-based influenza vaccines avoid egg-adapted changes. 

This means cell-based vaccines may offer a closer match and potentially improved protection compared to standard egg-based options during ‘some’ flu seasons.

This is good news for flu sufferers. 

The 2017/18 flu season in the U.S. was considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be one of the worst in recent years due to the predominance of the H3N2 influenza virus. 

Previous research has shown that some H3N2 viruses undergo changes when they are grown in eggs and that these changes may reduce the effectiveness of standard egg-based influenza vaccines in H3N2-dominated seasons. 

‘Cell-based’ refers to how the flu vaccine is made.

Most inactivated influenza vaccines are produced by growing influenza viruses in eggs. The influenza viruses used in the cell-based vaccine are grown in cultured cells of mammalian origin instead of in hens’ eggs, says the CDC. 

Russell Basser MD, SVP of Research and Development, Seqirus, said in a press release, "This study indicates that cell-based vaccines may result in better influenza-related outcomes compared to standard vaccine options in some seasons, particularly those characterized by egg-adapted changes."

This research news is from Seqirus, a flu vaccine producer.

Seqirus licensed QIVc in 2016 and is supplying over 20 million doses to the U.S. market for the 2018-19 flu season.

The data from this Seqirus commissioned study, generated from one of the largest electronic medical record (EMR) providers for primary care practices in the U.S., were presented at the recent National Foundation for Infectious Disease (NFID) 2018 Clinical Vaccinology Course. 

Seqirus studied data from 1,353,862 patient records to determine the effectiveness of QIVc to prevent ILI compared to QIVe.

Real-world data from one of the largest electronic medical record (EMR) providers for primary care practices in the U.S. were obtained between August 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.

Seqirus evaluated these data as a retrospective cohort study which allowed for the estimation of the relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) of cell-based quadrivalent, inactive influenza vaccine (QIVc) versus egg-based, quadrivalent, inactive influenza vaccine (QIVe). 

Researchers analyzed EMRs from 92,192 subjects who received a QIVc and 1,255,983 subjects who received a QIVe to determine which vaccine was more effective in preventing influenza-like illness. 

Influenza is a common, highly contagious infectious disease that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. 

To reduce the risk of more serious outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, resulting from influenza, the CDC encourages annual vaccination for all individuals aged 6 months and older.

Study:  Boikos C, et al. Effectiveness of the cell culture- and egg-derived, seasonal influenza vaccine during the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Presented at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 2018 Clinical Vaccinology Course. 

Seqirus is part of CSL Limited headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.

For more information visit Seqirus and CSL.