Does Influenza Vaccination provide any protection against H1N1?

Over at Croakey, Crikey.com.au’s health blog there is an interesting article on why submissions to the Victorian government on why proposals for developing healthcare identifiers and related privacy legislation should be public. One of the case studies used in his argument is the need to track any potential adverse effects from influenza vaccination, particularly H1N1.

One of the crucial requirements he states is to determine “whether or not the current vaccine for seasonal influenza affords any protection against the new H1N1 variant”.

My gut feeling from what I have seen is there is little or no protection. This also seems to be the results from a study reported in Eurosurveillance:

Interim analysis of pandemic influenza (H1N1) 2009 in Australia: surveillance trends, age of infection and effectiveness of seasonal vaccination

There was no evidence of significant protection from seasonal vaccine against pandemic influenza virus infection in any age group.

It seems we will be up for a huge vaccination effort (possibly two vaccinations, one month apart) from some time after October.

There is more information on the just received Promed email listing available through the International Society of Infectious Diseases. Look for “PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (25): Australia, UK, updates” (note: later check shows linkbroken). Some of the links in the Promed e-mail are worth a look:

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