BETHESDA, Md. — People with asthma, especially those with severe cases, may need different doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine.
The National Institutes of Health is preparing to launch the first government-sponsored clinical trial to determine the dose.
“People with severe asthma often take high doses of glucocorticoids that can suppress their immune system, placing them at greater risk for infection and possibly serious disease caused by 2009 H1N1 influenza virus," said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"We need to determine the optimal dose of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine that can be safely administered to this at-risk population and whether one or two doses are needed to produce an immune response that is predictive of protection."
People who have severe asthma may be particularly at risk for infection with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. A report published in 2004 suggested that some people who took high doses of glucocorticoids to treat their asthma might receive less protection from influenza vaccines against some strains of influenza.
The trial will be conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Pittsburgh’s Asthma Institute, the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and? Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis.