Assessment of the Serum Antibody Responses and Safety of Influenza Vaccine for Children with Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases
2002 Vol.18 NO.3
Influenza vaccine was administered to children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in the maintenance stage of their chemotherapy. A total of 65 children was studied, 25 children with ALL, 30 with asthma, and 10 healthy children. Their serum antibody responses to three antigens in the influenza vaccine, B/Yamanashi/166/98, A/New Caledonia/20/99 H1N1 and A/Panama/2007/99, were also tested. After receiving a total of two vaccinations one each 2 weeks apart, children with ALL had a significant increase in antibodies against A/Panama/2007/99 antigen (p<0.05). The sero-conversion rate and the sero-response rate were in the ranges of 57.1-84.6% and 40-69.2% respectively. Antibody production in children with ALL was weaker than the antibody response of asthmatic children. Antibody response to Panama antigen in the two groups was similarly satisfactory however. Therefore the answer to the question of whether influenza vaccine could be given to children in the maintenance stage of their chemotherapy, is that no significant differences in serum antibody responses were noted in the present study. In summary, influenza vaccine was safe in ALL and asthmatic children and also stimulated adequate serum antibody responses.