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Vaccine manufacture at the time of a pandemic influenza

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In the event of a major influenza epidemic, the availability of a potent and safe vaccine would be a major concern. The following presentation describes the main features of a flu vaccine manufacturing campaign: beginning with the supply of embryonated eggs, in which the flu viruses are cultivated, through the different steps of vaccine production — egg harvest, purification, inactivation, splitting — down to the final vaccine formulation and aseptic filling in the appropriate containers. In usual times, such a production cycle takes over 70 weeks. In an emergency situation, the manufacturers and the authorities would have to take innovative approaches to minimize such delays. This will inevitably translate into an enormous strain on all the players in such a project, from the egg suppliers to the organisers of the vaccine dispatching and administration. It will result in suboptimal yields and costs. However, facing a massive and urgent need of vaccine, both the authorities and the vaccine manufacturers must work together to supply the necessary doses in time.

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Correspondence to Hervé P. Chalumeau.

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Chalumeau, H.P. Vaccine manufacture at the time of a pandemic influenza. Eur J Epidemiol 10, 487–490 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01719684

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Key words

  • Flu vaccine manufacturing
  • Pandemic influenza