Comparison of the immunogenicity and safety of the conventional subunit, MF59-adjuvanted, and intradermal influenza vaccines in the elderly.
The influenza vaccination is known as the most effective method for preventing influenza infection and its complications in the elderly. Conventional subunit (Agrippal S1; Novartis), MF59-adjuvanted (Fluad; Novartis), and intradermal (IDflu15; Sanofi Pasteur) influenza vaccines are widely used throughout South Korea. However, few comparative studies evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of these vaccines are available. Prior to the beginning of the 2011-2012 influenza season, 335 healthy elderly volunteers randomly received one of three seasonal trivalent influenza vaccines, the conventional subunit, MF59-adjuvanted, or intradermal influenza vaccine. Serum hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody levels were measured at the time of vaccination and at 1 and 6 months after vaccination. Adverse events were recorded prospectively. A total of 113 conventional subunit, 111 MF59-adjuvanted, and 111 intradermal influenza vaccine volunteers were followed up during a 6-month postvaccination period. One month after vaccination, all three vaccines satisfied Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) immunogenicity criteria for the A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 strains but not for the B strain. Compared with the subunit vaccine, the intradermal vaccine exhibited noninferiority, while the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine exhibited superiority. Furthermore, the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine was more immunogenic against the A/H3N2 strain than was the subunit vaccine up to 6 months postvaccination. The most common local and systemic reactions to the conventional subunit, MF59-adjuvanted, and intradermal influenza vaccines were pain at the injection site (7.1%, 10.8%, and 6.3%, respectively) and generalized myalgia (0.9%, 8.1%, and 5.4%, respectively). Local and systemic reactions were similar among the three vaccine groups. MF59-adjuvanted vaccine exhibited superior immunogenicity compared with a conventional subunit vaccine and had a comparable safety profile. For older adults, the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine is preferable for providing superior immunogenicity.