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Fast Method for Preparing Flu Vaccine: Use Bioreactors Instead of Chicken Eggs

A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researcher Manon Cox has developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilised chicken eggs, which have a limited availability.

Manon Cox will be conferred with a PhD at Wageningen University, Netherlands, on 9 December on the strength of a thesis on this subject.

The prompt availability of sufficient suitable vaccine is always a problem when facing the outbreak of a flu epidemic. At the moment, it takes three to six months to produce a vaccine to counter a new strain of flu virus using chicken's eggs. Moreover, there is no possibility of expanding production capacity in the event of a pandemic as the limited availability of fertilised chicken's eggs needed for production inevitably becomes an insurmountable problem.
 
 

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