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Flu Vaccine With Adjuvant MF59 Efficacious in Infants

Oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant vaccine has 75 percent relative efficacy versus non-adjuvant shot

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Administration of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) with the oil-in-water-based adjuvant MF59 is efficacious against confirmed influenza in young children and infants, according to a study published in the Oct. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Timo Vesikari, M.D., from the University of Tampere Medical School in Finland, and colleagues examined the effect of adjuvant MF59 on TIV efficacy in 4,707 healthy, influenza-vaccine naive children (aged 6 to <72 months). Participants were randomly assigned to receive age-appropriate doses of the MF59-adjuvant vaccine (ATIV), TIV alone, or control (non-influenza) vaccine, during two consecutive influenza seasons. Absolute and relative efficacies of the vaccines against confirmed influenza-like illness were assessed.

The investigators found that, during both seasons, influenza-like illness had occurrence rates of 0.7, 2.8, and 4.7 percent in the ATIV, TIV, and control groups, respectively. The absolute vaccine efficacy rates against all influenza strains were 86 and 43 percent for ATIV and TIV, respectively, with a 75 percent relative efficacy rate for ATIV versus TIV. The comparative efficacy rates for ATIV versus TIV were 79 and 40 percent, respectively, in children aged 6 to <36 months; and 92 and 45 percent, respectively, for children aged 36 to <72 months old. The ATIV group had higher antibody responses, which persisted through day 181. Systemic and local reaction rates in the ATIV and TIV groups were similar at younger age. At older age, ATIV was associated with more frequent systemic events than the TIV or control vaccines.

"Influenza vaccine with the MF59 adjuvant is efficacious against polymerase-chain-reaction-confirmed influenza in infants and young children," the authors write.

The study was funded by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis.

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