Medical Technology

FDA Approves Cell-Based Flu Shot for Ages 6 Months and Older

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Flucelvax quadrivalent vaccine for use in children aged 6 months and older, according to a statement from manufacturer Seqirus.

“This approval officially allows all eligible Americans to receive a cell-based influenza vaccine, increasing the potential for greater vaccine effectiveness,” according to the company.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends annual influenza vaccination for all individuals aged 6 months and older without contraindications.

Flucelvax is manufactured using a cell-based process that yields a more precise match to the WHO-selected influenza strains for a given year. This process avoids the variation associated with traditional egg-based vaccines, and offers the potential for greater vaccine effectiveness, according to the company.

The approval was based in part on data from a phase 3 randomized, controlled noninferiority study of children aged 6-47 months. The data are the first for a cell-based flu vaccine in this age group, and were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in 2021.

In the immunogenicity study of children aged 6 months through 3 years, described in the package insert, 1,597 children received Flucelvax quadrivalent and 805 received a control quadrivalent vaccine. After 28 days, Flucelvax showed noninferiority to the control quadrivalent against four influenza strains.

The most common side effects with Flucelvax quadrivalent vaccine overall are pain, redness, swelling, or a hardened area at the injection site, headache, low energy, muscle aches, and malaise. Additional side effects reported in children include tenderness or bruising at the injection site, sleepiness, diarrhea, changes in eating habits, and irritability. The vaccine is contraindicated for individuals with allergies to any of its ingredients.

Additional efficacy data on Flucelvax for children and adolescents aged 2-18 years were recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Full prescribing information for Flucelvax is available here.

The FDA approval letter is available here.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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