OAKLAND, Calif. – Influenza vaccination using proteins derived from recommended virus strains and produced with recombinant DNA methods yields flu vaccines that are safe for healthy adults, according to Kaiser Permanente researchers. The study is published in the current issue of Vaccine.
Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center evaluated flu vaccine using hemagglutinin proteins (rHAs) derived from the recommended flu virus strains and produced with recombinant DNA methods (Flublok) as an alternate to the current Trivalent Inactivated Vaccine (TIV) manufacturing technology.
“The rapid development and production of large quantities of a safe and effective vaccine is important,” said Roger Baxter, PhD, director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center and lead author of the study. “However, the current TIV manufacturing technology is not without drawbacks. It can be time-consuming and yield inconsistent success. In addition, recent studies have questioned the level of effectiveness of vaccines produced with older TIV technologies, particularly in the elderly.”
This study confirms previous reports of the safety and effectiveness of FluBlok. And the researchers explain that in general this novel recombinant vaccine has been associated with low rates of mild local reactions that have been comparable to those observed with established TIV vaccines.
“Results indicate that FluBlock is highly effective in a population of healthy adults aged 50-64 years,” said Baxter.
The study was a Phase 3 observer-blind, randomized, multi-center clinical study in healthy adults 50-64 years of age and conducted during the 2007-2008 influenza season.
Additional authors on the study include: K Ensor, also with the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center; PA Patriarca with the Biolgics Consulting Group in Bethesda, Maryland; R Izikson and MM Cox, with Protein Sciences Corporation, Meriden, Connecticut; and KL Goldenthal an independent consultant in Bethesda, Maryland. The study was funded by Protein Sciences, the manufacturer of FluBlok.