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The single radial immunodiffusion assay has been the accepted method for determining the potency of inactivated influenza vaccines since 1978. The world‐wide adoption of this assay for vaccine standardisation was facilitated through collaborative studies that demonstrated a high level of reproducibility and its applicability to the different types of influenza vaccine being produced at that time. Clinical evidence indicated the relevance of SRID as a potency assay. Unique features of the SRID assay are likely responsible for its longevity even as newer technologies for vaccine characterization have been developed and refined. Nevertheless, there are significant limitations to the SRID assay that indicate the need for improvement, and there has been a substantial amount of work undertaken in recent years to develop and evaluate alternative potency assays, including collaborative studies involving research laboratories, regulatory agencies, and vaccine manufacturers. Here, we provide an overview of the history of inactivated influenza vaccine potency testing, the current state of alternative assay development, and the some of the major challenges to be overcome before implementation of new assays for potency determination.
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