Newer Flu Vaccine Only Slight More Effective in Seniors: FDA

A newer flu vaccine was only slightly more effective in seniors than older vaccines during the last flu season, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Overall, flu vaccines were only about 24 percent effective among people 65 and older. The newer vaccine, Flucelvax, was about 26.5 percent effective in that age group, the Associated Press reported.

Most flu vaccines in the U.S. are made in chicken eggs, but Flucelvax is made by growing viruses in animal cells.

"The big problem is still the same -- we need better vaccines. But these incremental improvements are very important," said Brendan Flannery, a flu expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AP reported.

The FDA's findings were presented Wednesday to a panel that advises the government on vaccine recommendations.

The CDC says flu vaccines were 40 percent effective for Americans of all ages this past flu season, but were far less effective against the strains that made most people sick, the AP reported.

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