Persistence of vaccine-induced antibody to A/H5N1 influenza after 30 and 36 months of vaccination

Epidemiol Health. 2021 Oct 6;e2021076. doi: 10.4178/epih.e2021076. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: An A/H5N1 vaccine named IVACFLU-A/ H5N1 was accepted to use in Vietnam, however, antibody persistence after vaccination has not been well characterized yet. We examined the persistence of antibodies after vaccination and related risk factors in individuals enrolled in phase II with 15 mcg dose, 2 injections 21 days apart, IVACFLU-A/ H5N1 vaccine trials in Ninh Hoa, Vietnam.

Methods: We used a longitudinal study to follow 86 participants without control groups. They were tested anti-A/H5N1 IgG seronegative at baseline and received all two doses of the vaccine. Blood was drawn at 30 and 36 months after the full vaccination to assess antibody status. Antibody persistence status is compared by demographics and exposure risk factors using a univariate logistic regression.

Results: Overall incidence of persisting at least 1/10 of A/H5N1 antibodies was 84.9% and 52.3% after 30 months and 36 months of IVACFLU-A/H5N1 vaccination. The odds of antibody persistence were more significant in older people but lower in people who experienced flu-like symptoms in the past 18 months or between two visits. We recorded no differences between A/H5N1 antibodies persistence and exposure risk factors including having poultry farms, contacting with poultry, and slaughtering and processing poultry.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated noteworthy antibody persistence, indicated by seroconversion rate and geometric mean titer at 30 and 36-month post-vaccination, of the IVACFLU-A/H5N1 vaccine. There is a need for further studies on older people, and those who experienced flu-like symptoms to decide the suitable time for the booster shot.

Keywords: Antibody persistence; Vietnam; influenza A/H5N1; influenza vaccine.