Issue: July 2013
July 01, 2013
1 min read

Potential role of flu vaccines, respiratory illness unknown

Issue: July 2013
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A sampling of children who received influenza vaccines were not more likely to have other respiratory viruses, contrary to children in other study samples, according to study results published online.

Edward A. Belongia, MD, and researchers from MedImmune reported data on nasopharyngeal samples collected from more than 2,010 children and 1,700 adults between 2004 and 2010.

The researchers noted influenza in 12% of the children and about 20% of the adults, while a greater percentage of children, about 70%, and 38% of adults had respiratory illnesses.

Belongia and colleagues noted that although they set out to explore the association between vaccination and respiratory illness, they could not replicate other findings that showed a greater incidence of respiratory viruses.

However, they wrote: “We cannot rule out the possibility that vaccination may alter susceptibility to non‐influenza viruses in some circumstances. There is limited biological evidence to support an effect of non‐specific immunity across virus families or species, and limited evidence to support the role of vaccination in such immunity.”

For more information:

Sundaram ME. Clin Infect Dis J. 2013;doi: 10.1093/cid/cit379.

For more information:

Edward A. Belongia, MD, can be reached at 1000 N. Oak Ave., Marshfield, WI, 54449; telephone: 715‐389‐3783; fax: 715‐389‐3880; email:

Disclosure: The researchers report research funding from MedImmune.