It will be a different influenza vaccine market moving forward. After years of consideration, an FDA panel has given its approval to quadrivalent or four-strain vaccines. It should be a boost to consumers who suffered through a particularly bad flu season this year and to the two companies that already have quadrivalents approved, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca's MedImmune.
Low efficacy of this season's flu vaccine highlights the need for vaccinemakers to develop a better, longer-lasting shot. Only 56% of people who received the jab were protected from influenza, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, and the elderly were among the least shielded.
Though the United States has made significant progress in the realm of flu vaccines, the country will likely need to wait 5 to 10 years for a universal shot, top federal health officials said.
For years now, evidence has been mounting that a GlaxoSmithKline flu vaccine may have caused narcolepsy in nearly 800 Europeans who received the shot. Now the jab's adjuvant--designed to boost the potency of the vaccine--is under the microscope as the potential cause of the spike in cases of the sleeping disorder.
An unusually widespread flu season--complete with vaccine shortages and high demand--has scientists and vaccine makers working to develop a quickly produced and long-lasting shot. Life Technologies took a step in this direction with the establishment of the Global Influenza Network.
A heightened flu season and a spate of newly approved influenza vaccines have experts wondering what else they can do to mitigate or prevent the seasonal illness. Next up: A universal flu vaccine administered every 5 to 10 years to fight multiple virus strains and eradicate the need for annual shots.
Though the European Medicines Agency declared last October that links between spikes in narcolepsy in European countries and a swine flu vaccine distributed in 2009 are insufficient, some experts still assert that the shot is to blame, and compelling evidence is growing.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed this flu season has officially reached the level of an epidemic in the United States.
A little more than a month after taking over vacated manufacturing space in New York from Pfizer, Protein Sciences won regulatory approval from the FDA for a new type of flu vaccine.
As one of the worst flu seasons in a decade sweeps the United States, some flu vaccine and drug manufacturers find themselves in short supply of their products. Still, the high demand offers a welcome financial boost.