Perspectives Open Access
Like 0


Four Canadian studies have suggested that receipt of seasonal influenza vaccine increased the risk of laboratory-confirmed infection with 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1). During the influenza season of 2009 in Victoria, Australia, this virus comprised 97% of all circulating influenza viruses for which sub-typing was available. We found no evidence that seasonal influenza vaccine increased the risk of, or provided protection against, infection with the pandemic virus. Ferret experiments have suggested protection against pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 from multiple prior seasonal influenza infections but not from prior seasonal vaccination. Modelling studies suggest that influenza infection leads to heterosubtypic temporary immunity which is initially almost complete. We suggest these observations together can explain the apparent discrepant findings in Canada and Victoria. In Victoria there was no recent prior circulation of seasonal influenza and thus no temporary immunity to pandemic influenza. There was no association of seasonal influenza vaccine with pandemic influenza infection. In Canada seasonal influenza preceded circulation of the pandemic virus. An unvaccinated proportion of the population developed temporary immunity to pandemic influenza from seasonal infection but a proportion of vaccinated members of the population did not get seasonal infection and hence did not develop temporary immunity to pandemic influenza. It may therefore have appeared as if seasonal vaccination increased the risk of infection with pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error