But, depending on their level of immune cell function, certain HIV-infected individuals may not be able to mount enough of an immune response to make flu vaccination worthwhile, the experts said.
"The issue is whether the compromised immune response might result in insufficient protection, not whether the inactivated H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine is excessively harmful," said Dr. Paul Greenberger, president of AAAAI.
"The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) notes that most HIV patients can receive the immunization, and from earlier studies with seasonal flu shots, [it appears] there may be a reduced response if the number of CD4+ lymphocytes is less than 100/mm3," Greenberger said. "Better responses occurred if patients had CD4+ lymphocyte counts of at least 400."
He added that "studies haven't been published yet of H1N1 vaccination in HIV patients."
In other swine flu news, a study published in the September issue of the journal Risk Analysis seeks to quantify the risk from various routes of transmission of the swine flu virus. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois used sophisticated modeling and pored over the available data on four key means of person-to-person H1N1 transmission.
They speculate that hand contact with a contaminated surface brings a 31 percent risk of actual infection; inhaling tiny particles laden with virus in a room brings a 17 percent likelihood of infection; close contact where coughs spray viral-laden droplets onto the eyes, nostrils or lips brings a 52 percent chance of infection. Inhaling
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