Seasonal flu vaccines are our best protection against a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Because the flu virus mutates so quickly, scientists update the vaccine every year based on the strains that are circulating that season. However, one thing that hasn’t changed in years is the way seasonal flu vaccines are produced.
Most influenza vaccines are made from inactivated (dead) viruses grown in chicken eggs. That means vaccine production is limited by the time it takes to produce an egg and grow inactivated virus(es) in that egg. For the annual flu vaccine, the vaccine manufacturing system functions like a well-oiled machine. However, the flu virus can mutate and become a pandemic, as we saw recently with the H1N1 flu and the 1918 flu. In a potential pandemic scenario, the timeline of egg-based platforms could severely limit vaccine production.
With COVID-19, the world has seen rapid innovation in vaccine research and development without cutting corners on safety and efficacy. This innovation has the potential to change, improve, and accelerate how we make flu vaccines. For example, mRNA vaccines have the potential to be both more effective in combating flu and more efficient to produce.
Funding for vaccine research and development often falls during non-pandemic periods. That lull stalls progress made during pandemic periods and possibly leaves the world unprepared for the next outbreak.
We must prepare for the next pandemic by utilizing the novel platforms and technologies developed to fight COVID-19 to improve influenza vaccines.
The National Academy of Medicine launched the “Advancing Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Preparedness and Response” Initiative to harness lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to better prepare and protect ourselves against influenza. To read more about the Initiative’s findings and recommendations, pleasesee here.
You might also be interested in...
Survey Finds 2 in 3 Parents Get a Preventative Flu Shots Each Year
Celebrating Black Health Heroes Fighting Flu
Lessons Learned from COVID-19 for Flu Preparedness
You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.
FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF. You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo. To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”