Crazy random happenstance considering the post earlier this week on ‘religious’ vegans refusing the influenza vaccine in hospitals:
The vaccine, developed by a small company called Protein Sciences, is made with a process that does not require the virus to be grown in chicken eggs, as is now generally done.
I had no idea this was in the works– No insider info, just great news, for vegans, people with egg allergies, and YOU!
Some folks figured out a way to make The Flu Vaccine (a mix of three different influenza variants) in an insect cell line. This means:
- Nothing is dying to make this vaccine except for cells. No insects are dying. Just cells.
- The cell-line was made from ovary tissue from the insects. There are no aborted insect babies in the new influenza vaccine.
- Because these are insect cells, they do not require serum (animal products) to grow.
- Sf9 cells are stock laboratory materials. Not some rare reagent. If we need a new flu vaccine RIGHT NOW for some reason, we dont have to wait to get a bunch of eggs. We have to wait a couple days to grow up a TON of Sf9 cells. In an emergency, this will be a faster way to generate influenza vaccines.
- No eggs. You can have all the egg allergies you want and get this vaccine.
And best of all:
- It works. Well, as much as flu vaccines work.
The paper was published in 2011–
4648 people, randomized into 2344 FluBlok and 2304 saline.
There were the three components in this vaccine that were in the ‘normal’ vaccine– 78% had a good response to component 1 (A-H1N1), 81% to component 2 (A-H3N2), and 52% to component 3 (B).
But because the vaccine makers guessed wrong the year of the study, what was in the vaccine and what was in nature were mismatched. Thus, they didnt get enough people infected with the vaccine strains to do good stats on them, specifically, but they did get a good number of people infected with the flu.
The vaccine was 54.4% protective against non-vaccine Influenza A (B had some stats issues, but it was 44.6% overall).
And all of this was made possible by… A GMO VIRUS!!
Influenza wants nothing to do with insect cells. You cant grow flu in bug cells.
So how do you grow influenza proteins in insect cells?
Pop the influenza hemagglutinin gene (or three!) into an insect virus, baculovirus. Baculovirus infects an insect cell and is just all ‘HERP DERPY I A MAKING MAH PROTEINS LALALALA!’ No idea its making a flu protein too!
Those influenza proteins can be purified and loaded into a vaccine!
Anti-vax loop-hole created and destroyed within a 48-hour time-frame.
I think that is a record.