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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jan;127(1):130-7, 137.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.11.014. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Vaccination of patients with mild and severe asthma with a 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus vaccine.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis., USA.



Asthma was the most common comorbidity of patients hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 influenza.


We sought to assess the immunogenicity and safety of an unadjuvanted, inactivated 2009 H1N1 vaccine in patients with severe versus mild-to-moderate asthma.


We conducted an open-label study involving 390 participants (age, 12-79 years) enrolled in October-November 2009. Severe asthma was defined as need for 880 μg/d or more of inhaled fluticasone equivalent, systemic corticosteroids, or both. Within each severity group, participants were randomized to receive intramuscularly 15 or 30 μg of 2009 H1N1 vaccine twice 21 days apart. Immunogenicity end points were seroprotection (hemagglutination inhibition assay titer ≥40) and seroconversion (4-fold or greater titer increase). Safety was assessed through local and systemic reactogenicity, asthma exacerbations, and pulmonary function.


In patients with mild-to-moderate asthma (n = 217), the 2009 H1N1 vaccine provided equal seroprotection 21 days after the first immunization at the 15-μg (90.6%; 95% CI, 83.5% to 95.4%) and 30-μg (95.3%; 95% CI, 89.4% to 98.5%) doses. In patients with severe asthma (n = 173), seroprotection 21 days after the first immunization was 77.9% (95% CI, 67.7% to 86.1%) and 94.1% (95% CI, 86.8% to 98.1%) at the 15- and 30-μg doses, respectively (P = .004). The second vaccination did not provide further increases in seroprotection. Participants with severe asthma who are older than 60 years showed the lowest seroprotection (44.4% at day 21) with the 15-μg dose but had adequate seroprotection with 30 μg. The 2 dose groups did not differ in seroconversion rates. There were no safety concerns.


Monovalent inactivated 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine was safe and provided overall seroprotection as a surrogate of efficacy. In patients older than 60 years with severe asthma, a 30-μg dose might be more appropriate.

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