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2009 H1N1 vaccine safe and induces robust immune response in people with asthma
Date:12/13/2010

Results from a government-sponsored clinical trial of inactivated 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in people with asthma indicate that a single dose of vaccine was safe and induced a strong immune response predictive of protection. The findings also suggest that individuals over the age of 60 who have severe asthma may require a larger dose of vaccine.

The study was cosponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), two components of the National Institutes of Health, and appears online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"Asthma was the most common underlying health condition among those hospitalized in the United States with 2009 H1N1 influenza infection during the 2009-2010 influenza season," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "The results of this clinical trial show that the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine was safe and led to adequate production of antibodies thought to be protective against the virus. This is important because the H1N1 vaccine is one component of the seasonal influenza vaccine currently being distributed for the 2010-2011 influenza season."

People with asthma are at risk for developing severe disease when infected with the influenza virus. In addition, there is concern that the long term use of corticosteroids, which are used to control asthma symptoms and known to suppress the immune system, by people with severe asthma might affect their ability to mount a healthy immune response to the vaccine.

"This study shows patients and their doctors that it is safe and effective to get the flu vaccination while they continue to take the corticosteroid medications necessary to keep their asthma under control," says NHLBI Acting Director Susan B. Shurin, M.D.

In late 2009, NIH rapidly designed and sponsored a clinical study to determine the dose and number of doses of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine needed to safely
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Contact: NIAID Office of Communications
niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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