Lambkin, R., et al. (2000). – Vaccine 18(21): 2307-2311.
Persons attending for routine influenza vaccination in an urban practice each provided three specimens of blood for evaluating their immunological response. 138 (67%) of the 206 persons were defined as “at risk” by reason of morbidity as given in the guidelines published by the Chief Medical Officer. The mean age was 67 yr and 65% were aged 65 yr or more. By day 7, 71% of 31 persons had protective H(1)N(1) titres, 61% H(3)N(2) and 42% B. These proportions were similar to those found at day 14 and at day 21 based on 159 persons. These findings suggest that an effective immune response is mounted within seven days of vaccination indicating that the vaccination of persons “at risk” is worthwhile even after an epidemic has established itself. This is not a reason to modify present policy of routine vaccination in early winter well before epidemics are likely to occur.
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