Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Egg-free Flu Vaccines Provide Faster Pandemic Response

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the not-that-we'll-stop-panicking-every-time-a-new-flu-comes-around dept.

Medicine 64

eggboard writes "Jen A. Miller has an egg allergy of a variety that her doctor has told her could produce a severe reaction if she were vaccinated for the flu, as flu vaccines are grown from viral strains incubated in chicken eggs. But, she explains, two new approaches have been approved by the FDA and are in production that don't use eggs at all; they're on the market in small amounts already, but will be available in much larger quantities soon. It's not just about egg allergies: the new vaccine types (one relying in insect proteins and the other on animal proteins) provide a much faster turnaround time in response to flu pandemics — as little as two to three months from isolation of a strain to mass production instead of at least six months with eggs."

cancel ×

64 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Could be issues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290349)

As these new vaccines are based on peanuts.

No Beta - How To (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290373)

http://slashdot.org/?nobeta=1

How (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46292941)

But how do you get it to stay classic when you go to read the comments on an article?

Great news. (2)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 6 months ago | (#46290375)

My sister is currently suffering from the flu; she works at a pharmacy, so is exposed to a lot of sick people, but had an allergic reaction to previous flu shots, so she couldn't be vaccinated.

Re:Great news. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#46290467)

Couldn't she claim or attempt to claim a workplace-related injury, so that her time off does not come from her regular sick pool?

Or are they good enough to give the pharmacy employees a disproportionate pool of sick time relative to most other employers?

Re:Great news. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#46290751)

Could you describe her symptoms? The flu shot I got this season gave me a bit of woozy feeling that evening with a low grade fever easily dealt with by a couple of Tylenols. In other words, my immune system was doing its job.

Re:Great news. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46290843)

haha, probably coincidental from the flu shot, or psychosomatic.

That's not how the flu vaccine works, they are weakened cold adapted viruses.

Re:Great news. (3, Informative)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 6 months ago | (#46291405)

Flu shots are designed to trigger an immune response, so mild, flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, et cetera are normal. Also, to the best of my knowledge, psychosomnia cannot cause full-blown flu symptoms such as fever, running nose, sore throat, fluid in the lungs, et cetera. If you have those symptoms, it is probably because you were already infected with the flu virus or another pathogen that causes flu-like symptoms when you received the vaccine.

Re:Great news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46291139)

The range of reaction varies for those allergic to eggs, like I am. It can range from extreme anaphylaxis, where death is likely without prompt medical attention, usualy in the form an injection of epinephrin (EpiPen); to lesser whole body swelling.

The CDC advice always left me a little annoyed since it's their life that they are risking by advising those allergic to eggs to get inoculated and now with the new vaccine I can finally get a flu shot without risking my life.

Re:Great news. (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 6 months ago | (#46293223)

The CDC advice always left me a little annoyed since it's their life that they are risking by advising those allergic to eggs to get inoculated and now with the new vaccine I can finally get a flu shot without risking my life.

The advice I've always seen says that you may not be a candidate for it if you have an egg allergy, not recommending you get it despite an allergy.

Right off the CDC site [cdc.gov] :

Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy:

People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs may be advised not to get vaccinated. People who have had a mild reaction to egg—that is, one which only involved hives—may receive a flu shot with additional precautions. Make sure your health care provider knows about any allergic reactions. Most, but not all, types of flu vaccine contain small amount of egg.

Re:Great news. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 6 months ago | (#46290825)

Is she taking time off?

Re:Great news. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 6 months ago | (#46291347)

Trading assigned days with other workers, it's a Union job with enough sick/vacation days, but those are saved for vacations...

Re:Great news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46291919)

Definitely good for her. Imagine if she did get those useless vaccines, and the side effects including death or CNS problems lasting a lifetime...
Not sure what that has to do with TFA however.

Great news! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290387)

I can finally vaccinate my faggot vegan son!

Vegan Flu shots? (0)

DeTech (2589785) | about 6 months ago | (#46290389)

That's terrible. Now how are we supposed to knock out the vegans?

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 6 months ago | (#46290401)

I have to admit I'm not up on my vegan dogma, but don't insects qualify as animals?

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (2)

DeTech (2589785) | about 6 months ago | (#46290427)

There was an old lady who swallowed a soy based non-GM fly like analogue?

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

aitikin (909209) | about 6 months ago | (#46290495)

Depends on the vegan. My brother will consume honey, but he is still a vegan.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (2)

netsavior (627338) | about 6 months ago | (#46290541)

Real level 5 vegans don't eat anything that casts a shadow.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#46291169)

I was about to point out that many vegetables do cast a shadow until I looked up "level 5 vegan".
Good show.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46290563)

My brother will consume honey, but he is still a vegan.

I suspect some vegans might dispute that.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290847)

Depends on why they're vegans. Most people do it because of suffering animals and bees don't suffer at their job.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#46291125)

So... no problem with free range eggs then?

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 months ago | (#46291129)

How do you know bees don't suffer when they are smoked out of their colonies and their larval chambers are cut open and honey removed?

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 6 months ago | (#46293049)

Some vegans would argue that they do: The honey is supposed to be their winter food store, and we harvest it and replace it with sugary water or syrup. From WP [wikipedia.org] :

Neither the Vegan Society nor the American Vegan Society considers the use of honey, silk or other insect products to be suitable for vegans, while Vegan Action and Vegan Outreach regard it as a matter of personal choice

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290617)

No, he's not a vegan then. He just chooses to not eat, buy, wear, use any animal based products except for honey... And if he's eating honey, I'm betting he's unaware of many other products he is purchasing or consuming that have animal byproducts in them.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#46291223)

Interesting point there. Do bees have faces?

Re: Vegan Flu shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46292253)

It's ok, they shit honey.

Re: Vegan Flu shots? (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 6 months ago | (#46294053)

Honey is not bee poo, it's partially dehydrated chewed bee vomit. The pollen jock bee drinks the nectar and it is stored in the honey stomach and they return to the hive, the worker bee opens his mouth and the pollen jock bee vomits into the workers mouth. The worker bee then chews the vomited nectar for a half an hour which breaks down the nectar into simple sugars, the worker bees then spits the chewed nectar into multiple honeycombs so it can dry, other worker bees flap their wings in the hive to create airflow to dry the honey out even quicker.

Even though I know all of this I still love honey.

Re: Vegan Flu shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294353)

Honey is not bee poo, it's partially dehydrated chewed bee vomit. The pollen jockette [worker] bee drinks the nectar and it is stored in the honey stomach and they return to the hive, the [other] worker bee sucks the nectar from the pollen jockette's "honey stomach". The worker bee then chews the vomited nectar for a half an hour which breaks down the nectar into simple sugars, the worker bees then spits the chewed nectar into multiple honeycombs so it can dry, other worker bees flap their wings in the hive to create airflow to dry the honey out even quicker.

Even though I know all of this I still love honey.

FTFY

[http://www.pa.msu.edu/sciencet/ask_st/073097.html]

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290555)

"I have to admit I'm not up on my vegan dogma, but don't insects qualify as animals?"

Jenny McCarthy will claim it gives your kid Chitin Autism.

Re:Vegan Flu shots? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 6 months ago | (#46291793)

one relying in insect proteins and the other on animal proteins

Thus, obviously, no, they don't.

Otherwise the summary would be wrong, and this is Slashdot...

Fuck Beta! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290417)

Moderators: only spend your points on posts which discuss beta.

Readers: get your news from https://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] .

Capatcha: scatters

Possible alternative solution (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 6 months ago | (#46290447)

Combine this with the story from earlier in the day. [slashdot.org] Problem solved.

Re:Possible alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290531)

So, mayo made from putting vegetable oil and crickets in a blender?

I dislike the egg-oil stuff, I don't see how this could be any worse.

whatever (0)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 6 months ago | (#46290667)

The only years I've ever gotten the flu is when I cave and get a flu shot. "well that means you allready had it before the shot!" sure thing pal.

Re:whatever (3, Informative)

DeTech (2589785) | about 6 months ago | (#46290725)

Each years flu vaccine is really just an educated guess on which flu will be going around that year. Most of the time it's just based on what was in the other hemisphere that year... it can be wrong so it's not a sure thing.

Re:whatever (2)

nblender (741424) | about 6 months ago | (#46290773)

The only years I've ever gotten the flu are the two where I did _not_ get the flu shot..

There you go. Now neither of our data points is meaningful.

Re:whatever (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46290805)

Let's see... on the one hand there's hundreds of years of scientific investigation and clinical studies into the pros and cons of vaccination, and on the other there's some guy on Slashdot with a (probably misremembered) anecdote... this is going to be a tricky one...

Re:whatever (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46290857)

either you are a liar, had the virus before getting the shot, or what you had was some form of stomach distress and not influenza. Many think are 'flu like' but aren't influenza.

Good news, needs more science (5, Informative)

Brewdinar (3544101) | about 6 months ago | (#46290705)

I know that I'm missing the human-interest angle of the story here, but as someone who works at a company that has performed some large-scale DNA vaccine production research (Vandalia Research, but please don't google us because the website is an embarrassment), I'm a little disappointed that the article didn't try harder to explain the difference between these new vaccines and the old egg-grown ones. I think a little science education is a good thing to provide, to pull back the curtain on the good that genetic engineering can do. The first-pass explanation was "Flublok uses insect proteins instead of eggs. (The other is Flucelvax, which relies on animal proteins.)" which is rather poor since the proteins don't replace the eggs, the insect/animal culture cells those proteins are grown in do. I don't expect an in-depth discussion of promoters or vectors, but more about the recombinant engineering involved than "insect cells are used to cultivate hemagglutinin" would be nice. For anyone interested in a more academic explanation of Flublok's approach, along with several other possible vaccine design strategies that will hopefully be coming soon, a good page to read would be http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm... [nih.gov]

Re:Good news, needs more science (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46290869)

Remember everything articles get wrong on subjects you do know about? yeah, that's for everything they write about.

Re:Good news, needs more science (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 months ago | (#46291143)

An article written for a specialist like you would bore the majority of readers who don't have that kind of background.

Re:Good news, needs more science (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 6 months ago | (#46292641)

Trust me. No articles are very correct it is just that you are not an expert in the other fields that other articles discuss. Yes this article is wrong but so are the articles on genetic engineering, hard drives, SSD, memory, CPUs, gravity, dark matter and every other subject you could imagine.

I made this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290799)

I actually manufactured one of these drugs. Any questions?

Re:I made this! (1)

spasm (79260) | about 6 months ago | (#46292209)

Yeah, why are you posting AC?

Insects? (1)

dohnut (189348) | about 6 months ago | (#46290885)

You probably know whether or not you are allergic to eggs. How many people know whether or not they are allergic to grasshoppers?

Re:Insects? (3, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | about 6 months ago | (#46291203)

We eat more insect bits in our breakfast cereal than most people realize.

I wouldn't be surprised if a proportion of the population were allergic to grasshoppers but -- given how ubiquitous exposure to insect proteins is -- drop-dead anaphylactic reactions are going to be unlikely to be revealed for the first time with a flu shot.

ok, we get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46290977)

slashdot hates eggs.

meh, still not vegan (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 months ago | (#46291115)

"Flublok uses insect proteins instead of eggs"

Flublok Experience (4, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | about 6 months ago | (#46291271)

I received the Flublok vaccine several months ago, having sought it out due to a egg allergy. Paid around ~$30 at my local pharmacy, and had to wait a few days after my initial inquiry, for them to get it in stock. While my allergy is mild, the traditional flu vaccine still leaves me with mild muscle aches and malaise that lasts for several days.

As a medical student, I am required receive the flu vaccination each year (exemptions for certain severe reactions only). This year's flu vaccination was the easiest ever -- over the next few days, there were no noticeable adverse reaction at all.

   

Mercury next, please (1, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#46291321)

Great, now can they take out the mercury-based preservative too.

Not that it has been found to be harmful in any way when bonded in that form, but its removal would give a lot less fuel to idiotic anti-vaccination groups. I don't believe for a second that it would shut up such groups, but it would give uninformed Joe Public even less cause to listen to them.

Re:Mercury next, please (4, Informative)

sir_eccles (1235902) | about 6 months ago | (#46292509)

It has already been removed from single dose vials since around 2001.

Re:Mercury next, please (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 6 months ago | (#46292649)

So it has been gone for 13 years. Did you really expect the antivac groups to understand that already? At the rate they process change it will need to be gone for at least a hundred years before they are willing to accept that it is not in the vaccines anymore.

Mercury next, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46292909)

I don't know if the verdict is out on that. What is different than the 1980s is the sheer volume of recommended shots by age 2. -- at least 2 orders of magnitude. When you couple that with these 5 in 1 shots that parents get their kids so they don't cry... and consider some of those shots have 2-3 strains so at the end of the day you might give 8 different dead viruses at once.

So you got to wonder how the immune system reacts to produce antibodies for so many of these dead viruses. That is something that hasn't been researched fully. There have been studies overseas that showed when they gave monkeys the full recommended CDC schedule some of the monkeys had neurological disorders. -- Though the study could be biased too for a witch hunt on vaccines. It is tough to say.

Personally I don't think its the vaccines, but simply a genetic predisposition when the immune system gets overwhelmed. Maybe many kids do fine and some don't

Re:Mercury next, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293521)

I don't know if the verdict is out on that. What is different than the 1980s is the sheer volume of recommended shots by age 2. -- at least 2 orders of magnitude.

Not even close. If you count up all of the individual things you're vaccinated for by 24 months as recommended by the CDC in 2013 you get around 45 [cdc.gov] . In 1983 the total was 8 [cdc.gov] . That is nowhere near two orders of magnitude difference.

So you got to wonder how the immune system reacts to produce antibodies for so many of these dead viruses. That is something that hasn't been researched fully.

In the same way it reacts to anything else. As the CDC explains: [cdc.gov]

No evidence suggests that the recommended childhood vaccines can “overload” the immune system. In contrast, from the moment babies are born, they are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. Eating food introduces new bacteria into the body; numerous bacteria live in the mouth and nose; and an infant places his or her hands or other objects in his or her mouth hundreds of times every hour, exposing the immune system to still more antigens. When a child has a cold they are exposed to at least 4 to 10 antigens and exposure to “strep throat” is about 25 to 50 antigens.

Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines, a 1994 report from the Institute of Medicine, states: “In the face of these normal events, it seems unlikely that the number of separate antigens contained in childhood vaccines ...would represent an appreciable added burden on the immune system that would be immunosuppressive.”

Mercury is still in there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46292895)

NO, they didn't ever remove it. That is a common misconception. -- It is just at "trace levels" the FDA considers negligible. If you go preservative-free you still have to contend with Aluminum Hydroxide (its in most vaccines as is the only approved adjuvant that will enhance a vaccine's effectiveness. Unfortunately, the CDC pointed out that high doses of the stuff (just take any combo shot and you will reach it) can create neurological disorders as it easily passes the brain barrier interface.

So you could take the flu shot like I did this year, realizing that its directed at the likely candidates and you still have a 40% to %50 chance of getting the strain that is not in the shot, or you could get sick from the shot - like I did one year, or find out all the stuff you have been ingesting like the thousands of plastic chemicals floating in most people's bodies.

So is it worth it? For me not getting sick from the flu (and don't confuse it with a bad cold as most people do) it is.

partial info (4, Informative)

slew (2918) | about 6 months ago | (#46291379)

Yeah, it was a puff piece written in first-person form, but this whole egg-free stuff actually gained momentum back in the 2001 and came to a tipping point back during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic scare...

Two of the first widely deployed cell-based, mono-valent flu vaccines (2009-H1N1-only) were Celtura (made by Novartis) and Celvapan (made by Baxter). The shortage of egg-based virus production during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic scare and the controversy over the use of adjuvant MF59 (e.g., in Pandemrix, an egg-based flu-vaccine developed as a supplemental flu shot that year) used to amp the immune response in order to *stretch/cut* the available virus production tended to obscure the difference between egg and cell-based vaccines to most of the public...

FWIW...
Novartis makes a few variants (Celtura, Optaflu, Flucelvax) grown in cells derived from the MDCK** line of cells.
Baxter makes another variant (Celvapan, Preflucel) grown in cells derived from the VERO*** line of cells.
Protein Sciences' FluBlok is quite different, though. An insect line (expresSF+) of cells is infected with a baculovirus which was GM-ed to encode the desired HA protein (e.g., a specific H1 flu-variant). No flu virus present.

**MDCK: cell line extracted by S. H. Madin, N. B. Darby from Canine (adult female cocker spaniel) Kidney tissue in September 1958.
***VERO: cell line extracted by Yasumura and Kawakita from a VErda (green) monkey RinO (kidney) tissue in March 1962.
expresSF+: private cell line isolated in 1983 by C. Cherry and G. Smith from some unknown mixture of cells originated from a fall armyworm (a type of caterpillar) started in 1970.

mod-up informative parent! (1)

waterbear (190559) | about 6 months ago | (#46292061)

The parent post to this has a whole lot of specific information about the new generation of flu- vaccines --

There's much more specific stuff here than in the (rather vague) Russian review for which a link was put up earlier.

-wb-

Now if only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46292755)

They could get rid of the mercury.

Aren't insects animals? (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | about 6 months ago | (#46292959)

Last i checked...

You don't need ANY type of flu shot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293099)

What people NEED to do is to quit eating all the shit the FDA says is 'ok' to put in food.

When you eat real food, your immune system works the way it's supposed to in the first place. I used to get sick 4-6 times a year without fail. (40 years!)

I quit all processed food and switched to choosing my foods by my blood type in the last 3 years and I've been sick twice.

Keep it Clean! :D

Vaccines are POISON (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293675)

My children have SEVERE food allergies, including to eggs. My doctors insisted on sticking one of my kids with a vaccine, and she spend 4 months in the ICU on a ventilator as a result.

We're POISONING our children with these goddamn snake-oil vaccines that are PROVEN to be ineffective at preventing disease.

So, which came first? (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 6 months ago | (#46295005)

The virus or the egg?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>