Study confirms safety of the seasonal influenza and H1N1 influenza vaccines

A new study has confirmed the safety of the seasonal influenza and H1N1 influenza vaccines.

When the H1N1 influenza virus crossed the U.S. border in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration worked alongside U.S. Health and Human Services agencies and drug manufacturers to develop, license and distribute a vaccine quickly, according to

The rapid development of the vaccine kindled fears that there would be an increase in risks associated with its use. Data analysis has since shown no increased risk for specific side effects.

"In the 2009-2010 season, when everyone was concerned about H1N1 because it was so new," Dr. Grace M. Lee, the lead researcher on the new study, said, reports. "This is very reassuring."

The study, which relied on data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Safety Datalink Project, appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

"We've been using the influenza vaccine for now close to 50 years and there's a tremendous amount of data that say it's safe," Dr. Jon Abramson, a member of the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, said, reports.

Abramson said that ongoing monitoring systems such as VDS plays a critical role in preventing situations when vaccines could themselves cause important safety concerns.