New Study Shows Cell-Based Influenza Vaccine Provides Protection Against Flu in Children

Overall vaccine efficacy was 54.6%, which met the pre-specified endpoint for success and showed benefit across 3 influenza seasons and all 8 countries.

A new study shows that a cell-based influenza vaccine can effectively provide protection against the flu in children and adolescents, according to a Murdoch Children’s Research Institute press release.

In the study, the cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc) produced a significant immune response in children between 2 and 18 years of age. The randomized, controlled study was led by professor Terry Nolan and involved 4514 participants across Australia, Thailand, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and the Philippines.

Overall vaccine efficacy was 54.6%, which met the pre-specified endpoint for success and showed benefit across 3 influenza seasons and all 8 countries. QIVc uses a cell-based flu vaccine production process, which is an alternative to traditional egg-based manufacturing, in which reference influenza viruses are grown in the yolk of fertilized hens’ eggs. This process can result in mutation of the influenza virus, leading to an antigenic mismatch between the circulating reference and inactivated strains contained within the seasonal flu vaccine, according to the study.

Nolan mentioned that because cell-based flu vaccines were designed to produce an exact match to the World Health Organization’s selected influenza strains by avoiding egg-adapted changes, they could potentially provide greater efficacy. Further, Nolan added that cell-based vaccine technology may also offer additional advantages including increased scalability and production speed in the event of an influenza pandemic.

REFERENCE

Cell-based influenza vaccine provides protection against the flu in children. Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. October 15, 2021. Accessed October 20, 2021. https://www.mcri.edu.au/news/cell-based-influenza-vaccine-provides-protection-against-flu-children