Flublok Vaccine Approved Early for Next Flu Season

The FDA has approved the Flublok influenza vaccine formulation for the 2015-2016 flu season.

The FDA has approved the Flublok influenza vaccine formulation for the 2015-2016 flu season.

Flubok is made using cultured insect cells and can be produced much more rapidly than traditional egg-based flu vaccines. It also contains 3 times more active ingredients than traditional flu vaccines, according to the manufacturer, Protein Sciences Corp.

Influenza vaccine manufacturers must receive FDA approval for changes made to their immunizations, so that the vaccines protect against the new flu strains that are predicted to circulate. For the upcoming flu season, there were 2 strain changes.

When there are 2 or more new flu strains, traditional vaccine manufacturers may experience delays in influenza immunization production, given that egg-based manufacturing technology is slow. However, Protein Sciences said its faster technology will deliver Flublok to distributors and retailers by mid-August.

“We expect Flublok to be available in Target pharmacies and other retail chains before most other vaccines this year," said Protein Sciences president and CEO Manon Cox in a press release.

Health care professionals can preorder Flublok through these distributors:

  • FFF Enterprises: 800-843-7477 www.myfluvaccine.com
  • Cardinal Health: 866-677-4844 http://www.cardinal.com/us/en/SPD/Ordering
  • McKesson: 877-MCK-4FLU mms.mckesson.com
  • Henry Schein Medical: 800-772-4346 www.henryschein.com/flu

A recent study of the quadrivalent version of Flublok in about 9000 patients aged 50 years and older demonstrated that those who received Flublok were 31% less likely to develop the flu than those who received a conventional egg-based quadrivalent vaccine.