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Infection Control

Study: H1N1 vaccine safe for those with asthma

December 17, 2010
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ST. LOUIS — A single dose of inactivated 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in people with asthma is safe, according to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
The findings, results from a national clinical trial with a site at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, which appear online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, also suggest that individuals over age 60 who have severe asthma may require a larger dose of vaccine, the article stated.
"This study demonstrates that the use of H1N1 flu vaccine is safe for all patients with asthma," said Mario Castro, MD, professor of medicine and of pediatrics and principal investigator at the Washington University site.
"Patients with asthma who are concerned about the flu vaccine should be reassured. Furthermore, elderly patients with severe asthma should talk to their doctor about receiving the high-dose flu vaccine," Castro added.
People with asthma are at risk for developing severe disease when infected with the influenza virus, the article noted.
According to the article, there is concern that the long-term use of corticosteroids, which are used to control asthma symptoms and known to suppress the immune system, by people with severe asthma because it might affect their ability to mount a healthy immune response to the vaccine.
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