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Flu Vaccination Found Safe, Immunogenic in Young Infants

Study suggests protection against flu may be safely obtained in infants less than 6 months old

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Babies under 6 months of age, for whom no influenza vaccine is currently licensed, developed protective antibodies after vaccination with a standard infant dose of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) with few adverse events, according to a study in the February issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Janet A. Englund, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues randomized 1,375 infants (ages 6 to 12 weeks) to receive either two doses of TIV or placebo. The researchers watched for adverse events at seven and 28 days following vaccination, and measured the hemagglutination-inhibition antibodies for influenza.

Within three days of vaccination, the researchers found that 11.2 percent of the TIV group had a fever versus 11.7 percent of the placebo group. Within 28 days, serious adverse events occurred in 1.9 percent of the TIV group and 1.5 percent of the placebo group. The reciprocal geometrical mean titers to H1N1, H3N2, and B viruses were 33, 95, and 11, respectively, in the TIV group versus 7, 9, and 5, respectively, in the placebo group.

"Based on the results of this study, potential protection against influenza could be safely obtained in infants less than 6 months of age who receive a standard infant dose of inactivated influenza vaccine. An efficacy study evaluating protection from influenza disease in this young and vulnerable age group is warranted," the authors conclude.

Three of the authors are employees of influenza vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur. In addition, several authors reported financial relationships with Sanofi Pasteur and other pharmaceutical companies.

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