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Efficacy of Cell-Cultured & Egg-Based Influenza Vaccines

J Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Dec 18; Izurieta, et al

Among a cohort of elderly US adults, a modest vaccine effectiveness (VE) difference between cell-cultured and egg-based vaccines only partially explains low overall VE, suggesting egg adaption is not the main contributor to the low VE found in this population. This according to a retrospective cohort study on beneficiaries aged ≥65 years who received an influenza vaccine during the 2017‒2018 season. Researchers compared effectiveness of cell-cultured and egg-based vaccines. They found:

  • Of >13 million Medicare beneficiaries, relative vaccine effectiveness (RVE) for cell-cultured vaccines relative to egg-based quadrivalent vaccines was 10%.
  • The estimate was 16.5% in a mid-season interim analysis.
  • In a 5-way comparison, cell-cultured and egg-based high-does vaccines were more effective than egg-based quadrivalent vaccines.


Izurieta HS, Chillarige Y, Kelman J, et al. Relative effectiveness of cell-cultured and egg-based influenza vaccines among the U.S. elderly, 2017–18. [Published online ahead of print December 18, 2018]. J Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiy716.