To compare the efficacy and duration of the immune response to local and systemic vaccination, Balb/c mice were vaccinated either intraperitoneally (i.p.) with an inactivated A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) vaccine or intranasally (i.n.) with a vaccinia recombinant containing the H1 gene of influenza. The i.p. inactivated vaccine stimulated high serum IgG anti-influenza titres and protected the lungs against viral challenge for the duration of the experiment (17 months). Little nasal wash IgA was induced and the noses were susceptible to challenge. Animals vaccinated i.n. with the recombinant had lower serum IgG titres and the lungs showed poor protection against challenge. Nasal wash IgA titres were higher, however, and the noses were largely protected from viral challenge for 17 months.