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CMAJ. 1987 Oct 15;137(8):722-6.

Comparison of one- and two-dose regimens of influenza vaccine for elderly men.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


In November and December 1984, 102 male residents of a long-term care facility (mean age 74.6 [extremes 59 and 97] years) received 0.5 ml of trivalent inactivated whole-virion influenza vaccine, containing 15 micrograms of the hemagglutinin of each of A/Philippines/2/82 (H3N2), A/Chile/83 (H1N1) and B/USSR/83. A second dose of the vaccine was administered to a subgroup of 55 randomly chosen subjects 8 weeks later. Serum samples were collected from all the subjects before and 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks after administration of the first dose and were assayed for hemagglutinin-inhibiting (HAI) antibody to each of the three antigens. At 8 weeks there were significant increases (p less than 0.05) in the geometric mean titre of antibody and in the proportion of subjects with HAI antibody titres of 1:40 or more (except to the B/USSR antigen) in both groups. There were no differences between the groups at 8 weeks or at 16 weeks (8 weeks after administration of the second dose of vaccine) in the frequency of seroconversion, the geometric mean titre or the proportion of subjects with HAI antibody titres of 1:40 or more. Overall, 60%, 32% and 13% of the 102 subjects had titres of 1:40 or more to the A/Philippines, A/Chile and B/USSR antigens respectively at 16 weeks. The results suggest that a second dose of influenza vaccine given 8 weeks after the first does not enhance the immune response in elderly men and that a substantial proportion of this population remains unprotected against infection (having HAI antibody titres of less than 1:40) during the influenza season.

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