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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Cell-based flu vaccine now listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

Health Industry Hub | April 2, 2024 |

Biotech News: To combat influenza (flu) and protect at-risk Australians, CSL Seqirus has announced the availability of its cell-based flu vaccine on the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Flucelvax QUAD is now accessible free of charge to eligible Australians who are at higher risk of flu complications, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged five to 64 years, pregnant women, and individuals aged five to 64 years with co-existing medical conditions.

According to the NIP, there is “no preferential recommendation between Flucelvax Quad and standard dose of egg-based influenza vaccines.”

Infectious diseases expert, Professor Robert Booy, hailed the introduction of Flucelvax QUAD to the NIP as a significant step in safeguarding the broader community.

“Being able to offer a cell-based influenza vaccine to vulnerable patients on the NIP gives GPs, and now pharmacists, an important option for protection against the virus, which ultimately enables more Australians to be prepared for flu season,” commented Professor Booy. 

Recent research underscores the urgency of vaccination efforts, revealing that only about 25% of the population aged five to 64 years were vaccinated against influenza in 2023.

Dr Julianne Bayliss, Vaccines Medical Director at CSL Seqirus, underscored the pivotal role of influenza vaccination in alleviating strain on the healthcare system.

“For more than 100 years, CSL has been manufacturing flu vaccines in Australia for Australians, and it’s exciting to now have this technology on the public program,” said Dr Bayliss. “Flucelvax QUAD will be proudly produced in Australia from 2027, after our world-class, cell-based vaccine manufacturing facility in Melbourne comes online.” 

Other Quadrivalent influenza vaccines funded by the NIP include Sanofi’s Vaxigrip Tetra and GSK’s Fluarix Tetra for 6 months to <65 years, and CSL’s Fluad Quad for 65 years and over.

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