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Pediatrics. 1982 Feb;69(2):226-9.

Persistence of antibody after the administration of influenza vaccine to children with cancer.


Children with cancer who received an intramuscular injection of inactivated split or whole bivalent (A/New Jersey/76-A/Victoria/75) influenza virus vaccine during the fall of 1976 were tested up to 18 months later for the persistence of antibody. Titers of antibody greater than of equal to 10 to influenza A/New Jersey/76 virus were present in the sera of 34 children two weeks after immunization. The geometric mean titer was 40.0. Eighteen months later a titer greater than or equal to 10 was present in 13 (38%) children; the geometric mean titer was 8.5. Of 36 children with a titer of antibody greater than or equal to 10 to A/Victoria/75 virus two weeks after immunization, 34 still had a detectable titer in the later examination. The geometric mean titer declined from 65.3 to 25.6. Titers of antibody to B/Hong Kong/72 virus (not included in the vaccine) remained relatively stable. In 11 children the usual chemotherapy was discontinued during the study. The shorter persistence of antibody to A/New Jersey/76 virus, in contrast to that of the other two influenza viruses tested, was associated with a lack of prior exposure to the virus and the absence of subsequent natural infection with this virus or an antigenically related subtype. The potential effect of cancer chemotherapy on the persistence of antibody levels is unclear.

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