Flublok®: Egg Free, Cell Based Influenza Vaccine
How is Flublok® different from other influenza vaccines?
Most influenza vaccines are made via an extremely complicated process that starts out with fertilized chicken eggs as a culture for the virus. This traditional method is extremely safe and effective; however, advanced technologies have arrived on the scene. Flublok® is the only licensed influenza vaccine on the market that does not use eggs, antibiotics, or live influenza virus in any part of the manufacturing process. “[Flublok] approval represents a technological advance in the manufacturing of an influenza vaccine,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.1 The approval of Flublok “stands as one of the most significant improvements in flu vaccine technology in the past 50 years.”2 The vaccine is made via a cutting edge, cell-based technology that is very similar to that used to create cervical cancer vaccines. The FDA has also referred to Flublok as Revolutionary.3 According to Jerry P. Weir, Ph.D., the director of the Division of Viral Products in the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Flublok® “is an important advance that will supplement egg-based vaccines.”3 Flublok® is also preservative-free.
What are the benefits of Flublok®?
Flublok® is an incredibly pure, safe, and effective influenza vaccine option that offers the recipient numerous benefits:
- Triple strength
- No influenza virus
- No eggs
- No gelatin
- No antibiotics
- No formaldehyde
- No thimerosal or other preservatives
- No latex
How is Flublok® made?
Flublok® is made by taking the genetic information from one protein of the flu virus (the HA protein) and putting it into cultured cells that are grown in stainless steel tanks. These cells then make hundreds of copies of the HA protein, the small piece of the flu virus that is needed for immunity to develop. The proteins are then purified, and packaged into doses of Flublok® influenza vaccine. Each dose offers immunity against the three most commonly circulating virus strains each year, so that recipients receive optimum protection.
Should I get Flublok®?
Flublok® is approved for adults 18 years and older. According to the CDC, the single best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot each year. So, if you are 18 years of age or older, and would like to receive the most cutting-edge flu vaccine on the market, this is the flu shot for you!
Where can I get Flublok®?
You can get Flublok® at select Passport Health locations.
Flublok® is approved for people 18 years and older to prevent influenza disease. The most common side effect from Flublok® is pain at the site of injection. Other side effects may occur and include fatigue, headache and muscle aches.
Flublok® should not be administered to anyone with a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any vaccine component. Flublok® does not contain any preservatives (e.g., thimerosal), antibiotics, egg proteins or latex.
Tell the doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome (severe muscle weakness) within 6 weeks of receipt of a previous dose of influenza vaccine. If you notice any other problems or symptoms following vaccination, please contact your healthcare professional immediately. Vaccination with Flublok® may not protect all individuals.
1 FDA News Release. “FDA approves new seasonal influenza vaccine made using novel technology”
2 Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Statement from Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie on FDA approval of new influenza vaccine manufactured with novel technology”
3 FDA Consumer Health Information. “The Evolution, and Revolution of Influenza Vaccines”