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Flublok Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccination

Questions & Answers

On January 16, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of Flublok, an influenza vaccine made by Protein Sciences Corporation, for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age. This vaccine will be available for the 2013-2014 influenza season.

What is Flublok?

Flublok® is a trivalent influenza vaccine that has been FDA approved for use in adults ages 18 to 49 years.

How does this vaccine differ from the other approved flu vaccines?

Unlike the production method for currently available seasonal influenza vaccines, Flublok does not use the influenza virus or chicken eggs in its manufacturing process. However, it does use a manufacturing process similar to that used to make vaccines that have been approved by the FDA for the prevention of other diseases.

Flublok has a shorter shelf life, with an expiration period of 16 weeks from the production date, as compared to currently available inactivated influenza vaccines which carry an expiration date of June 30. Health care providers should check the expiration date before administering Flublok.

What are the possible benefits of Flublok vaccine?

Flublok’s manufacturing process has the potential for faster startup of vaccine manufacturing, which can be useful in the event of a pandemic or vaccine supply shortage, mainly because it is not dependent on an egg supply or limited by the selection of strains that are adapted for growth in eggs.

Who can receive Flublok vaccine?

Flublok is approved for use in people 18 through 49 years of age.

Who should not receive Flublok vaccine?

Those who are not within the FDA-approved age range and people with known severe allergic reactions to any component of the vaccine should not receive Flublok.

Is this vaccine safe?

Clinical studies demonstrate that Flublok is safe and effective for use in people 18 years through 49 years of age. Flublok meets FDA’s standards for safe and suitable influenza vaccines.

Are there any side effects that could occur?

The most common side effects reported after receipt of FluBlok were similar to those reported for other flu shots produced in eggs, including pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.

For more information, visit: Vaccines, Blood & Biologics.

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