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

on, to assess the strength of the immune response.

The vaccine proved safe and effectively produced an immune response indicative of protection. In participants with mild to moderate asthma, and in most participants with severe asthma, a single 15-microgram dose was sufficient to induce a presumably protective immune response. The immune response after the first dose was not further improved after a second dose, indicating that a single dose was adequate. Participants older than age 60 with severe asthma had diminished immune responses to the 15-microgram dose of vaccine, but the 30-microgram dose gave an adequate response.

"We were not surprised that the older participants had less robust responses to the vaccine compared with the younger participants because immune system activity tends to decrease with age," says William Busse, M.D., a principal investigator of NHLBI's SARP and professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. "Based on these observations, physicians may wish to consider immunizing older patients who have severe asthma with the high-dose version of the 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccine, which contains the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus component."

Safety data were collected and examined throughout the course of the study by investigators and by an independent safety monitoring committee. Participants were followed for any side effects they may have experienced from the vaccine, as well as for asthma attacks that occurred during the study. The vaccine did not exacerbate participants' asthma. In addition, the vaccine was well-tolerated, and its safety profile was found to be the same as that obtained in other studies in which the vaccine was given to the general public.


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