H1N1 vaccine safe for kidney patients, study says

In a study, scientists from the Par de Salut Mer in Barcelona, Spain, found that the H1N1 influenza vaccine was safe in kidney patients but that a single dose of the vaccine produced poor results.
The study, published in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, tested 79 kidney transplant patients, 48 hemodialysis patients and 15 healthcare workers with normal kidney function. While 81.8 percent of the healthy controls developed antibodies, only 41.8 percent of those in the kidney transplant group and 33.3 percent of those on hemodialysis seroconverted.
Overall, younger people were more likely to convert, as well as patients who had more time since transplantation than those with more recent transplants. No severe adverse effects were seen in any of the groups.
“In our experience, recently transplanted patients and older patients on hemodialysis are two special populations that probably need at least two doses of vaccine to seroconvert," the authors wrote.
During the H1N1 influenza epidemic in spring 2009, infection was presumed to be more common in immunosuppressed patients like those who had received a kidney transplant. The International Societies of Transplantation later recommended that transplant recipients receive at least one dose of the H1N1 vaccine despite there being no information of the efficacy of the vaccine in that population. The study evaluates the efficacy of the vaccine in such a situation.
“Renal patients do not show the same responses to medical problems as the general population,” Dr. Marta Crespo, one of the two lead authors on the study, said. “Specific studies must be performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of measure such as vaccination against the influenza A H1N1.”