Seasonal flu vaccine may elevate risk of infection by pandemic strains

18 September 2012

A new study led by Dr. Danuta Skowronski has found evidence linking the 2008/09 seasonal flu vaccine to an elevated risk of infection by the pandemic H1N1 strain. The research team conducted a blinded trial in ferrets and observed that the animals receiving the seasonal vaccine became significantly sicker upon exposure to H1N1. The findings were presented last week at the International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco. Skowronski, a BC Centre for Disease Control researcher, previously headed an MSFHR-funded team that helped inform BC’s H1N1 response by identifying age groups most at risk.