VaccinatioNCelebration Highlights Flu Shot’s Future

Courtesy NC Biotech Center

The N.C. Biotech Center vaccinated more than 100 individuals, including N.C. Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla, at its VaccinatioNCelebration on Tuesday, October 4.

The capital NC isn’t a typo – the vaccination, Flucelvax Quadrivalent, is manufactured in Holly Springs, N.C. by Segirus, an Australian company. The vaccine plant was previously owned by Novartis AG before CSL Limited in Australia purchased it and created the new global company Segirus. The company is considered the second largest influenza vaccine provider in the world with the capability to produce over 100 million doses of the vaccine.

What makes the vaccine different from your usual flu shot? It’s produced through a new process called cell culture instead of produced in poultry eggs. Using mammalian cells, the virus used for the vaccine is grown inside sterile machinery known as bioreactors. This process can allow for faster vaccine production and limits the risk of contamination. This novel process makes it the first and only influenza vaccine of its kind on the market today.

Also on hand at the celebration was Vaccine Ambassadors. The North Carolina nonprofit works to provide vaccines to areas of the world without regular access to medical care. The nonprofit truly has North Carolina roots because it was founded by Dr. Jacob Lohr, graduate of UNC School of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief of the North Carolina Children’s Hospital; Jackie Kaufman, a nurse practitioner who has served as a clinician and researcher at UNC; and Eric Montross, a familiar name for those who follow UNC-Chapel Hill basketball and who is an active philanthropist and supporter of the N.C. Children’s Hospital. While at the celebration, Vaccine Ambassadors took time to educate participants about the organization and the importance of vaccines.

Read more about why North Carolina is the perfect location for this plant.

Learn more about Vaccine Ambassadors.