HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) — According to the CDC, nearly 200 children in the United States died from the flu last year with nearly half of the deaths happening in children younger than 5.
However, one health company with ties to the Triangle is hopeful their new vaccine will help keep young children better protected.
Global health leader Seqirus, which has a manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, received FDA approval Friday for a new cell-based flu vaccine for children as young as 6 months old called.
The new product is called Flucelvax Quadrivalent.
“If you look at the population for example children 6 months of age and older as they go through 2 years and even 5 years old they tend to be more susceptible to complications associated with influenza — so being able to expand access to our cell-based vaccine to them is really important from a public health standpoint,” said Dave Sehgal, executive director of manufacturing and head of the Holly Springs site.
Sehgal said the cell-based vaccine could prove more effective than traditional egg-based flu vaccines because they provide an exact match to the World Health Organization’s selected flu virus strains.
The vaccine is for anyone eligible for a flu shot ages 6 months and older. Sehgal is hopeful it will help lighten the load on health care workers.
“Influenza in and of itself can turn into a pandemic. By being able to vaccinate people and now children as young as 6 months old against influenza, it allows us to really ease the burden on the health care system and prevents people from going into the health care system with flu-like issues and allows more of those resources to be dedicated to COVID patients” said Sehgal.
Flu symptoms in young children include loss of appetite, fever, and nausea — to name a few.
For more information on Seqirus and their flu vaccine go here.