Have you ever gotten the flu vaccine but still gotten the flu? We make about 160 million vaccine doses every year in the US, but they vary in effectiveness from year to year.
In this video I discuss the yearly difference, but I also talk about a bigger problem. A recent paper from Nature Medicine exposed a systemic problem in the way we make vaccines. Right now we grow all the viruses for the flu vaccine in eggs, but this might not be the best way to do it. By making a change in the way we grow the flu virus from eggs to human cell culture, we can make the flu vaccine even better at protecting us!
This article is a summary of results from Raymond et al. “Influenza immunization elicits antibodies specific for an egg-adapted vaccine strain” Nature Medicine 22 (2016).