Allergy Vaccine: November 2006 Archives

asthma kidThe authors note that inactivated, trivalent, injectable influenza vaccine (injectable vaccine) is the only formulation approved for use in high-risk children, owing in part to concerns that live attenuated influenza vaccine (given nasally) might worsen asthma symptoms in asthmatics. This paper reports the results of an efficacy and safety trial of a reformulated live attenuated vaccine (live vaccine).

Subjects were European children aged 6-17 years with asthma enrolled during the 2002-2003 influenza season. The study excluded children with many other chronic diseases and children who were immune compromised. For 15 days after vaccination (1:1 randomization to live or injectable vaccine), parents recorded daily asthma symptom scores and peak expiratory flow measurements. In addition, the parents recorded nocturnal symptoms and asthma medication use. After the 15 days of parental log completion, investigators contacted subjects weekly to determine if they required revisit for symptoms. Any subject who developed fever or upper or lower respiratory illness was seen for office visit and nasal swab for influenza culture. The subjects were also monitored for side effects and other unscheduled medical visits. The study enrolled 2229 subjects, with 1114 receiving live vaccine.

ALK-Abello launches pollen allergy vaccine

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alk-abelloHORSHOLM, Denmark, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- ALK-Abello said Monday it launched its tablet-based vaccine against grass pollen allergy, Grazax, in Germany.

"The launch of Grazax is the culmination of years of research and development at ALK-Abello," said Jens Bager, ALK-Abello's chief executive officer. "With this convenient tablet for home treatment, many more patients throughout Europe can be offered a treatment that targets the cause of their allergy, cuts the symptoms and improves their quality of life."

The company said it plans to introduce the vaccine in other, unspecified European markets.

dynavax technologiesA novel vaccine designed to treat ragweed allergy significantly improved nasal symptoms for at least 2 years, according to a study presented here at the 52nd annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In addition, patients given the vaccine showed similar trends in symptom relief, regardless of how severely allergic they were to ragweed at baseline.

"We're very excited about this," said Eduardo Martins, MD, vice-president for clinical development at Dynavax Technologies, the San Francisco-based company developing the Tolamba ragweed allergy vaccine. "There have been 14 research trials to date with different dosages, and although they've been small, trial after trial, we've had consistently good results like this for patients across the board."

This randomized placebo-controlled study — the largest to date on this ragweed vaccine — included 462 people aged 18 to 55 years with confirmed ragweed allergy. One group received 6 weekly injections of the vaccine in incremental doses; the other group received injected placebo. Patients were then followed for 2 allergy seasons and asked to electronically report their daily hayfever symptoms, medication use, and related factors.

Nasal flu vaccine effective in kids with asthma

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nasal spray vaccine NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In children with asthma and recurrent respiratory tract infections, nasal spray flu vaccine (sometimes called live attenuated influenza virus vaccine) is well tolerated and more effective than inactivated influenza virus vaccine given as a shot, according to the results of two studies.

In the first study, Dr. William C. Gruber, from Wyeth Research in Pearl River, New York, and colleagues assessed the outcomes of 2220 children with asthma, who were between 6 and 17 years old. They were randomized to receive the live attenuated nasal spray flu vaccine or the inactivated flu vaccine shot during the 2002-2003 influenza season.

The influenza rate in the nasal spray flu vaccine group was 4.1 percent, significantly lower than the 6.2 percent rate noted in the group that got the flu shot. Thus, the nasal spray had a greater relative efficacy of 34.7 percent. The occurrence of asthma flare-ups and other asthma-related episodes did not differ significantly between the two vaccine groups.