FDA Reports Progress on Flu Vaccines

FDA announced Nov. 22 that it has approved the first adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine, Q-pan, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline to protect against H5N1 influenza.

FDA announced Nov. 22 that it has approved the first adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine, Q-pan, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline to protect against H5N1 influenza. "Using adjuvants in vaccine can reduce the amount of vaccine antigen needed to stimulate an immune response in people. Antigen is the component of the vaccine that stimulates the person’s immune system to protect against a virus. Needing less antigen in each dose of vaccine means more doses of vaccine will be available in a pandemic, and the approval by FDA means this adjuvanted vaccine is safe and effective," the agency's announcement stated.

The company created the vaccine with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Every few decades, new strains of influenza emerge for which the public has little immunity. If a strain spreads from person to person widely across the globe, the virus could become a pandemic. All types of influenza can be deadly including H5N1, better known as avian influenza or bird flu. People have become ill from avian flu after close contact with infected birds. Of the 600 people who have become ill in the past decade, close to 60 percent died from this flu," according to the federal agency.

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