Half-dose flu jabs fine for young people

Half-doses of flu vaccine could be used to treat young and healthy individuals during shortages in vaccine supply, a US study suggests.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Patricia Hofmeester
Photograph: iStockphoto/Patricia Hofmeester

Researchers gave full or half dose influenza vaccinations to 1,114 men and women aged 18-64. They found that full doses produced greater antibody responses for those aged over 50.

However, for younger volunteers there was no evidence that half-doses were significantly inferior to full doses in terms of the antibody response produced.

‘These data support the validity of a dose reduction strategy in the setting of vaccine shortages,’ the researchers say.

‘Reduced dosing could have a significant impact on the response to vaccine shortages, particularly at a local level when faced with considerable delays in vaccine supply delivery,’ they add. ‘In view of the trend toward reduced side effects, reducing the dose may improve vaccine acceptability in some populations.


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