Background: Acceptance of vaccination against pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has been poor in some countries, perhaps because of concerns about safety of the new vaccine.
Subjects and methods: We prospectively examined vaccination compliance and reasons for nonvaccination in the dialysis patients and the staff of a single hemodialysis unit, after on-site vaccination with a monovalent inactivated adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine. Safety profile was evaluated and compared to that of a control group without chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Results: Vaccination acceptance among dialysis patients in our unit was 68% (110/161). Dialysis patients vaccinated against H1N1 had significantly higher compliance with vaccination for seasonal influenza and pneumococcus than those unvaccinated. Three out of 34 (9%) of the unit's staff received the vaccine. Fear of side effects was the main reason for not vaccinating in both groups, while several participants did not consider pandemic influenza a serious disease. At least one adverse reaction was observed in 37/110 (33.6%) of the vaccinated dialysis patients and in 22/42 (52.4%) of the non-CKD control group, p = 0.034. Local mild pain at injection site was the most common side effect of vaccination in both groups. All side effects were of short duration and no serious adverse reactions related to the vaccine or reactions of special interest occurred during the follow-up period.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that immunization against H1N1 virus in dialysis patients is safe and do not support the concerns about safety of the vaccine that was the main reason for nonvaccination in our study.