24-Jan-13 8:00 AM  CST

FDA Approves New Flu Prevention Vaccine Flublok

With so many increasing flu cases and Tamiflu shortages many patients with the flu
are left out in the cold when it comes to prescription drug treatments.  Recently, the FDA has approved Flublok manufactured by Protein Sciences Corporation.  Flublok
is a new influenza vaccine used to prevent seasonal flu in individuals 18 to 49 years
of age.  The vaccine is made with an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology (three, full-length, recombinant HA proteins). 
Flublok assists in protecting patients from: 
·      Two influenza virus A strains - H1N1 and H3N2.
·      One flu virus B strain. 
An FDA representative recently commented on the new flu prevention prescription drug.  “This 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.  The new technology offers the potential for faster start-up of the vaccine manufacturing process in the event of a pandemic, because it is not dependent on an egg supply or on availability of the influenza virus,” also said Midthun. 
Pharmacy technicians should note that Flublok’s shelf life is 16 weeks from the manufacturers date.  Qualified immunizing pharmacists and other health care providers must check expiration dates listed on the vaccine before giving the shot. 
1.  Chappelle, Rita.  “FDA Approves New Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Made Using Novel Technology.”  FDA.  Web.  16 Jan 2013. 
2.  Manon, Cox.  “U.S. FDA Approves Flublok, The World’s First Recombinant, Highly Purified, Egg-Free Influenza Vaccine.”  Protein Sciences Press Release.  Web.  16 Jan 2013.    
3.  Pollack, Andrew.  “Rapidly Produced Flu Vaccine Wins FDA Approval.”  New York Times.  Web.  16 Jan 2013.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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