Egg Beaters

Flu vaccine makers look beyond the chicken egg


If you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. And if you want to supply the U.S. with flu vaccine, you have to break about 100 million.

That may change someday, as leading vaccine manufacturers explore the possibility of trading their chicken eggs for stainless-steel culture vats and growing their flu virus in cell lines derived from humans, monkeys or dogs. The technology could allow companies to produce their vaccines in a more timely and less laborious manner and to respond more quickly in an emergency.

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