Flu vaccine production hits snag: yield is ‘less than optimal’

Swine flu vaccine production has hit a snag, with manufacturers reporting a disappointingly low yield when vaccines viruses are grown in eggs.

Swine flu vaccine production has hit a snag, with manufacturers reporting a disappointingly low yield when vaccines viruses are grown in eggs.

The World Health Organization says so far the yield for egg-based production is half or less what manufacturers get when they make vaccine to protect against seasonal H1N1 viruses. The lion’s share of influenza vaccine is made by companies that grow the viruses in eggs.

New seed strains are being made in the hopes of increasing the vaccine yield, a report by the WHO’s vaccine chief, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny says.

But if the yield cannot be increased, it will slow the rate at which pandemic vaccine comes out of the production pipeline, adding to the time it takes to protect populations in countries like Canada that have purchased vaccine.

And countries that haven’t pre-ordered pandemic vaccine would face substantial delays before manufacturers have product to sell to them.

“There’s nothing to suggest it will take longer to make vaccine, if in fact everything goes as planned. The question is: How much?” says Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Somewhere between 850-900 million and 1.8 billion doses of pandemic vaccine are already spoken for, she reports.

The low end of the scale represents what would be needed by countries with contracts if it is shown that one shot will be enough to protect a person; the high end represents what those countries would need if two shots per person are required.

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read