A pilot randomized trial of adjuvanted influenza vaccine in adult allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
The annual influenza vaccine is recommended for hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients although studies have shown suboptimal immunogenicity. Influenza vaccine containing an oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant (MF59) may lead to greater immunogenicity in HSCT recipients. We randomized adult allogeneic HSCT patients to receive the 2015–2016 influenza vaccine with or without MF59 adjuvant. Preimmunization and 4-week post-immunization sera underwent strain-specific hemagglutination inhibition assay. We randomized 73 patients and 67 (35 adjuvanted;32 non-adjuvanted) had paired samples available at follow-up. Median age was 54 years (range 22–74) and time from transplant was 380 days (range 85–8107). Concurrent graft-versus-host disease was seen in 42/73 (57.5%). Geometric mean titers increased significantly after vaccination in both groups. Seroconversion to at least one of three influenza antigens was present in 62.9% vs 53.1% in adjuvanted vs non-adjuvanted vaccine (P = 0.42). Factors associated with lower seroconversion rates were use of calcineurin inhibitors (P<0.001) and shorter duration from transplantation (P = 0.001). Seroconversion rates were greater in patients who got previous year influenza vaccination (82.6% vs 45.5%, P = 0.03). Adjuvanted vaccine demonstrated similar immunogenicity to non-adjuvanted vaccine in the HSCT population and may be an option for some patients.