Why is the FDA Fast Tracking Squalene as a Flu Vaccine Ingredient for Seniors?

NVIC Questions FDA Fast Tracking of Squalene Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine

The non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is questioning the basis for the fast tracked licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a squalene-adjuvanted influenza vaccine for use in seniors over age 65. The Novartis MF59 adjuvanted Fluad vaccine was approved for accelerated licensure by the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Sept. 15, 2015 primarily using limited immunogenicity and safety evidence from a small clinical trial in which only about 1,000 healthy Americans over age 65 were given the adjuvanted vaccine.

“Novartis failed to demonstrate that squalene adjuvanted Fluad was more effective or safer than an unadjuvanted influenza vaccine in the small clinical trial being used to justify accelerated licensure. In fact, Fluad was shown to be far more reactive and, in some studies, the vaccine was associated with even more serious reactions in the elderly when given a second time,” said NVIC Co-founder and President Barbara Loe Fisher.

At public comment time, Fisher asked the FDA advisory committee, “Why does Fluad need to be fast tracked to licensure for the elderly without additional evidence? There is public concern that fast tracking Fluad is really about fast tracking MF59 to licensure so it can be added to lots of new vaccines targeting infants, pregnant women and every American without adequate evidence for safety or effectiveness.” ( Click to Article)

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