Flublok, a new vaccine for influenza, is now available and is the first vaccine ever to contain genetically-modified (GM) proteins derived from insect cells. Flublok is trivalent, which means it contains GM proteins from three different influenza strains. According to clinical data provided in the vaccine's package insert by its manufacturer, the Protein Sciences Corporation (PSC), two study participants actually died during trials of the vaccine.
The nerve disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GSB) is listed on the shot as a potential side effect. The "Warnings and Precautions," section of the vaccine's literature states, "If Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) has occurred within six weeks of receipt of a prior influenza vaccine, the decision to give Flublock should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks." Other possible side effects include allergic reactions, respiratory infections, headaches, fatigue, altered immunocompetence, rhinorrhea, and myalgia.
PSC explains that Flublok is produced by extracting cells from a type of caterpillar. The cells are then genetically altered to produce large amounts of hemagglutinin, a flu virus protein that enables the flu virus itself to enter the body rapidly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recently approved a new flu vaccine known as Flucelvax that is made using dog kidney cells. It is a product of pharmaceutical giant Novartis and like Flublok, Flucelvax was made funded by a $1 billion, taxpayer-funded grant given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the vaccine industry back in 2006 to develop new vaccine manufacturing methods.
Instead of to producing vaccines the "traditional" way using egg cultures, vaccine manufacturers now have the ability to quickly produce large batches of flu virus protein using GM Organisms (GMOs). This, in turn, will increase vaccine industry profits. There are reportedly two other GMO flu vaccines currently under development. According to Reuters, one being produced by Novavax, will utilize "bits of genetic material grown in caterpillar cells called 'virus-like particles' that mimic a flu virus."
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