Study provides evidence for continuation of annual influenza vaccination

Evidence for the continued use of annual influenza vaccination emerges following reports suggesting it may increase susceptibility during a pandemic.

Box of syringes for administering the flu vaccine

Annual influenza vaccination is the most effective strategy available to combat seasonal influenza, but data suggest that repeated vaccination hinders cross-reactive CD8+ T-cell immunity, potentially increasing susceptibility during vaccine mismatch or a pandemic.

In a study carried out in 2010–2013, 25 healthcare workers received a single AS03-adjuvanted H1N1pdm09 vaccine in 2009, and then either repeated annual vaccination or no further vaccination. Blood samples were taken before the influenza season/vaccination to assess antibody and T-cell responses.

In both the repeated- and single-vaccination groups, antibody levels against H1N1pdm09 remained above the protective threshold in most people. CD4+ T cell responses remained stable in the repeated group but declined significantly in the single-vaccination group. Furthermore, the quality of CD4+ responses was higher in the repeated group than the single group. CD8+ T cell responses remained stable in both groups.

Reporting in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the researchers said the findings suggest that there are immunological benefits from repeated annual vaccination[1]


[1] Trieu MC, Zhou F, Lartey S et al. Long-term maintenance of the influenza-specific cross-reactive memory CD4+ T-cell responses following repeated annual influenza vaccination. J Infect Dis 2017;215(5):740–749. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw619

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2018, Vol 10, No 2;10(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20204191