Baxter's cell-based flu vaccine Preflucel protected 78.5 percent of recipients from the disease, compared with 73 percent who got the traditional egg-based shot. "At 78.5 percent, we certainly would not claim superiority to egg-derived vaccines, but we are at least as protective as vaccines produced by historical manufacturing process involving the use of eggs," Dr. Noel Barrett of Baxter's Bioscience unit in Austria told Fox News. The study, which included more than 7,000 adults at 36 testing centers, was published in Lancet.
The 60-year-old process of deriving flu vaccines from eggs is lengthy and prone to manufacturing problems. And these issues contribute to shortages when huge quantities of the vaccine are necessary. The cell-based process eliminates the need for an egg, cutting eight to 10 weeks off manufacturing time and providing a more reliable product.
Preflucel is already approved in Austria and the Czech Republic. Further approvals are expected in Europe by the end of March.