The Butantan Institute, the manufacturer of the influenza vaccine used in the country’s National Immunization Program (PNI), reported today (6) that laboratory tests by the institute showed that the immunizing agent is able to provide protection against infection with the H3N2 influenza virus (Darwin), even without stress. in its composition. The H3N2 Darwin variant is responsible for the influenza outbreak affecting many parts of the country.
According to the director of production at the Butantan Institute, Ricardo Oliveira, the current trivalent vaccine made against influenza viruses H1N1, H3N2 and B, protects against H3N2 Darwin, that is, it neutralizes this variant by virtue of its presence in the composition of protection against the original H3N2 strain, “identical” to Darwin.
“You are very close to your mother, but you are different from her. The strains of influenza are related to each other, they have changes in the viral structure, in the amino acids, but there are parts of the virus that are similar, and it provides that protection even as the virus is updated,” he said.
Oliveira noted, however, that the current vaccine produces less protection than an immunizing agent made specifically against the Darwin strain H3N2. “The vaccine that we have today has protection against Darwin, less than the specific one, but it is. We have seen that in the reagents we use in quality control and in laboratory reactions.”
The new version of the influenza vaccine, which will be distributed in 2022 by the Ministry of Health’s PNI, is a triple version, comprising H1N1, H3N2 (Darwin) and B viruses, and is already being produced by Butantan in its factories. Packing is scheduled for the first week of February.
The Putantan Institute currently produces 80 million doses of influenza vaccine annually which are provided in the National Influenza Vaccination Campaign. The immunization factor is adjusted each year based on the three subtypes of influenza viruses that were most prevalent in the previous year in the Northern Hemisphere, and which were monitored and indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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