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Old 09-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
kanuck57
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Default Vancouver researcher finds flu shot is linked to H1N1 illness

Vancouver researcher finds flu shot is linked to H1N1 illness
September 10, 2012
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/V...609/story.html


A strange vaccine-related phenomenon spotted in Canada at the start of the 2009 flu pandemic may well have been real, a new study suggests.

Researchers, led by Vancouver's Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, noticed in the early weeks of the pandemic that people who got a flu shot for the 2008-09 winter seemed to be more likely to get infected with the pandemic virus than people who hadn't received a flu shot.

Five studies done in several provinces showed the same unsettling results. But initially research outside Canada did not, and the effect was dismissed as a "Canadian problem," a problem with the flu vaccine used in Canada.

But a new study suggests the findings were real.

Skowronski and a group of researchers have recreated the event in ferrets. Their findings were presented Sun-day at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a major international infectious diseases conference taking place in San Francisco.

Skowronski, who outlined the work at a webcast press conference, worked with 32 ferrets, giving half the 2008 seasonal flu shot and the rest a placebo injection. The work was blinded, meaning the researchers didn't know which ferrets received which shot. Later, all the ferrets were infected with the pandemic H1N1 virus.

The ferrets in the vaccine group became significantly sicker than the other animals, though all recovered.

"The findings are consistent with the increased risk that we saw in the human studies," Skowronski said.

The reason is unclear and Skowronski urged other research groups to take up the question. She said it's important to get to the root before the next pandemic. But in the meantime, Skowronski insisted the findings should not deter people from getting flu shots.

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Old 09-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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A self fulfilling vaccine, what will they think of next.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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They should try to find the key mechanism. Why does it triger this?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:26 AM   #4
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Was their an additive to stretch the vaccine supply added in the Canadian vaccine that year? Does anyone remember?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:47 AM   #5
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No - no adjuvent added:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodp...j_h1n1-eng.php


***The Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Pandemic Monovalent Vaccine (Without Adjuvant) is being made available at the request of the Public Health Agency of Canada.***
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:02 AM   #6
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how much sicker is "significant" ?

has yet to be published in a refereed journal
be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal


which of the 3 components in the vax causes this

is it also that H1N1-vax makes H3N2 worse ?
(and how much)
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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Not a lot of detail in the story.

A couple of questions. Were the ferrets vaccinated and then spontaneously developed the illness? To me that would suggest that their "inactivated" vax was not so inactivated.

If thye were vaccinated and then exposed to H1N1 and got infected anyway, then that would lead me to believe that either the strain was a poor match or some other component of the vax interefered with the production of the correct antibodies.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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they were exposed and had more serious illness in average
then the nonvaxed ferrets (who were also exposed)
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Thank you gsgs. I wonder if they looked at the time between vax and exposure as a variable. If close, could the "double dose" exposure have triggered a larger immune response - cytokine storm - leading to more severe symptoms?
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsgs View Post
how much sicker is "significant" ?
gsgs, can you explain the statistical meaning of (P=0.02 and P=0.01 ) ?
tia.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ICAAC/34674

The 16 ferrets vaccinated against seasonal influenza experienced significantly greater weight loss -- 7.4% versus 5.2% for the 16 ferrets given placebo (P=0.02), Danuta Skowronski, MD, a fellow in epidemiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and her colleagues reported here at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The vaccinated ferrets also accumulated significantly greater lung virus titers -- 4.96 plot forming units/ml versus 4.23 pfu/ml (P=0.01).

Although the ferrets first vaccinated and then exposed to H1N1 experienced acute illness that was more severe than the animals not vaccinated, all the ferrets survived the 14-day test.
....
Skowronski told MedPage Today that their work attempted to verify controversial findings that the seasonal flu vaccination resulted in more severe acute symptoms if that individual was infected with pandemic H1N1.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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P values are used to determine if data sets are different from each other, in a statistically significant way. Typically results below 0.05 would be viewed as statistically significant, meaning the data sets are diffferent enough that it is highly unlikely that it is due to random error. Hope I didn't botch that too bad.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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thanks. I hadn't found that. No paper yet.
roughly, I'd say, we should expect the probability that it happened by
chance is only 2% (more weight loss)
or 1% (lung titers)

Not so much sicker. If this would be the same for humans, would we
e.g. advice taking monovalent H3N2 vaccine for the elderly instead of trivalent ?

-----------------------
I remember one other study some months ago, that caught my attention,
which had shown that vaccination has a negative effect in that
it prevents natural infection which otherwise would produce better
antibodies than the vax
(hmm, do I remember correctly)
so a H1N1 infection might be good for the elderly with 2ndary conditions
in years where also H3N2 is around
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #13
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We need to find the mechanism.

If we know why it is happening then we can figure out if we need to do anything.

This only happened so for with pH1N1 , although it could be possible that it happens but is hard to detect in the normal flu years.

The researchers offer 2 possible explanations:
Seasonal antibodies present but at a level to low to stop pH1N1

For this you could repeat the experiment with 1 group pH1N1 and 1 group seasonal H1N1

Second explanation is what GSGS mentions: the seasonal vaccines protect against the matched strains but don't give the broad protection against flu that a real infection gives you.

All the ferrets used are immunologically naieve.

Depending on the numbers of ferrets you can waste you could make groups with seasonal H1N1, Seasonal H3N2, Both and nothing.

I think it's interesting but the outcome won't change much for real life policy.

BTW: nice Avatar gsgs!
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