In children, 2 AS03-adjuvanted A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine doses given 21 days apart were previously shown to induce a high humoral immune response and to have an acceptable safety profile up to 42 days following the first vaccination. Here, we analyzed the persistence data from 2 open-label studies, which assessed the safety, and humoral and cell-mediated immune responses induced by 2 doses of this vaccine. The first study was a phase II, randomized trial conducted in 104 children aged 6-35 months vaccinated with the A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine containing 1.9 µg haemagglutinin antigen (HA) and AS03B (5.93 mg tocopherol) and the second study, a phase III, non-randomized trial conducted in 210 children and adolescents aged 3-17 years vaccinated with the A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine containing 3.75 µg HA and AS03A (11.86 mg tocopherol). Approximately one year after the first dose, all children with available data were seropositive for haemagglutinin inhibition and neutralising antibody titres, but a decline in geometric mean antibody titres was noted. The vaccine induced a cell-mediated immune response in terms of antigen-specific CD4(+) T-cells, which persisted up to one year post-vaccination. The vaccine did not raise any safety concern, though these trials were not designed to detect rare events. In conclusion, 2 doses of the AS03-adjuvanted A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine at 2 different dosages had a clinically acceptable safety profile, and induced high and persistent humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in children aged 6-35 months and 3-17 years. These studies have been registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00971321 and NCT00964158.
Keywords: AS03 adjuvant; H1N1 pandemic vaccine; cell-mediated immunity; children; haemagglutinin inhibition; microneutralisation; persistence; safety.