Background: Many strategies, including intradermal vaccination, have been tested to augment antibody responses upon vaccination. This strategy has not been evaluated in different groups of immunocompromized patients. We conducted a prospective, randomized study to compare the humoral response upon standard intramuscular influenza vaccination with the response upon reduced-dose intradermal vaccination in patients treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, hematologic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients, and healthy controls. Methods: In total 156 immunocompromized patients and 41 healthy controls were randomized to receive either 0.5 mL of the 2005/2006 trivalent influenza vaccine intramuscular or 0.1 mL intradermal. Humoral responses, determined by hemagglutination inhibition assay, were measured before and 28 days postvaccination. Geometric mean titers (GMTs) and protection rates (PRs) are reported as primary outcomes, adverse events as a secondary outcome. Results: Reduced-dose intradermal vaccination leads to similar GMTs and PRs, within all tested groups, compared to the standard intramuscular vaccination. Healthy controls yielded significantly better GMTs and PRs than immunocompromized patients. Local skin reactions after intradermal vaccination occurred less frequent and were milder in immunocompromized patients than in healthy subjects and were predictive for a positive vaccination outcome for individual subjects. Conclusions: Intradermal influenza vaccination is a feasible alternative for standard intramuscular vaccination in several groups of immunocompromized patients, including those treated with anti-TNF, HIV-infected patients and HSCT patients. The occurrence of a local skin reaction after intradermal vaccination is predictive of a response to at least one of the vaccine antigens.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gelinck, L.B.S, van den Bemt, B.J.F, Marijt, W.A.F, van der Bijl, A.E, Visser, L.G, Cats, H.A, … Kroon, F.P. (2009). Intradermal influenza vaccination in immunocompromized patients is immunogenic and feasible. Vaccine, 27(18), 2469–2474. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.02.053