VaccinatioNCelebration Heralds NC Flu Shot Milestone


  • Medical milestone, and made in North Carolina
  • Protects against four flu strains (most others target only three)
  • Produced in containment, a sterile environment
  • Cell-culture production is a faster alternative to using poultry eggs

Now is the best time to sign up for your flu shot, and this is the best place to do it.

When you reserve a 10-minute “NC Big Shot" slot on the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s website for the Tuesday, October 4 VaccinatioNCelebration, it’ll reserve your free ticket to participate in a milestone of medicine.

That’s because you'll be among the first "NC Big Shots"  to get Flucelvax Quadrivalent. That big shot is being made right here in Holly Springs, North Carolina. And that's a big deal. Because directly or indirectly, every resident of North Carolina helped make it happen.

NCBiotech is hosting this VaccinatioNCelebration to highlight the launch of this important flu vaccine, made by North Carolina biomanufacturing specialists employed by the Australian global pharmaceutical company Seqirus (suh-KEER-us).

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved U.S. sales of the vaccine made at Seqirus' $1 billion Wake County biomanufacturing facility in Holly Springs.

The vaccine is unique, in large part, because it’s made from a cell culture process rather than the traditional growing of the key component in chicken eggs. The process represents the future of high-speed, efficient vaccine production.

The vaccine is important to the non-profit, state-funded Biotechnology Center because it’s a product of North Carolinians. It's the successful culmination of nearly two decades of concerted effort by uniquely qualified NCBiotech professionals, in partnership with leaders of many other public and private entities on three continents, fueled by groundbreaking scientific achievement. Federal government people. North Carolina state government people. Wake County people. Holly Springs people. Business people who make things happen. The evolution of this vaccine has even involved three successive corporate owners of this new-generation technology (Chiron, Novartis, and now, Seqirus).


Flucelvax production using cell culture at the Holly Springs biomanufacturing facility now owned by Seqirus. -- Seqirus images

Flucelvax Quadrivalent’s launch in time for the 2016 flu season is a scientific, cultural and social achievement that warrants this celebration.

It’s significant that North Carolina had the rare convergence of talent, timing, funding and partnering to build the game-changing factory to produce the world’s first quadrivalent flu vaccine from cell culture (a quadrivalent vaccine targets four strains of virus). It’s important because the cell culture process is faster than the traditional method of growing vaccines in poultry eggs, which may be critical for averting a future pandemic.

The VaccinatioNCelebration will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the Biotech Center, 15 TW Alexander Drive in the Research Triangle Park. Nurses from Greensboro-based Triad Care will be at NCBiotech all day, providing the  Flucelvax Quadrivalent shots to all participants over the age of 4 years.

The Seqirus flu vaccine manufacturing campus in Holly Springs

Besides the flu shots, the VaccinatioNCelebration will feature snacks, games, giveaways and information about North Carolina’s role in this vaccine milestone. Media interview opportunities with several key partners in the North Carolina success story are also on tap.

Triad Care can file insurance claims with most medical insurance carriers, including AARP, ACS Benefit Services, Aetna, All Savers, BCBS, Cigna, Sheet Metal Workers of NC (Cigna), Coventry, Humana, Humana Medicare, Medcost, Meritain Health, Tricare/ChampVA, United American Insurance, United Health Care, UHC Medicare and UMR.

If you're not covered by one of the many insurance plans routinely billed by Triad Care, you can still sign up for this next-generation flu shot by paying $35 in cash, check, credit or debit.

It’s easy and free for most participants who are covered by health insurance, because the co-pay for flu shots is traditionally waived. Advance scheduling will allow the medical team at Triad Care to schedule the nurses administering the vaccine, and to order an appropriate number of doses. So please get with your co-workers, family or friends and reserve your "Big Shot" slots now. If things get crowded early, Triad Care says it can add more staff, which means more "NC Big Shot" slots.

Sign up now to drop in on the VaccinatioNCelebration. Dodge the flu this year, have some fun doing it, and join in the hoopla celebrating the many years, partnerships, individuals and institutions that have made this NC notch in the belt of medical history possible.

READ ON for more "fast facts" about this new vaccine, its corporate parentage, and another Research Triangle Park company that's developing another unusual flu vaccine -- in tobacco.

To view images and B-Roll footage of the facility visit here.

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