How will this new Russian anti-flu vaccine differ from existing ones?
According to news sources, Russian technology will soon permit the creation of a new anti-flu vaccine that will suit both children and adults. It will differ from existing domestic anti-flu vaccines, which are prepared with egg proteins and sometimes cause allergic complications. This is sometimes the case with children who often exhibit intolerance to such proteins.
How common are egg allergies?
Although food allergies are more prevalent in adults than in children, the prevalence of egg allergy exists in 1.6% of children in the general population. It is more common in children who also have other allergies. An allergist can quickly determine the presence of egg allergens through an understanding of a patient’s clinical history and via a skin prick or blood test.
What are some of the challenges facing new vaccines?
Producing a new vaccine is always a difficult endeavor because the flu virus is known to mutate. Cell culture production, one of the technologies utilized in creating a vaccine, allows a virus to grow and multiply in living animal cells rather than eggs. Cell-based vaccines represent an important innovation because they could help meet the need to make a lot of vaccine in a short period of time in the event of a shortage or a pandemic.
With cell culture production technology, cells can be frozen and stored and then thawed out, like vegetables for an imminent dinner, to produce more vaccine if it is needed. Acquiring millions of fertilized eggs is a much slower process and one of the few that scientists could count on in the past.
And so, the world awaits the new Russian, allergy-free flu vaccine.
Here’s to you, Russia, and your busy scientists!