The new H1N1 and HPV vaccines and old fears

Ari Balofsky, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Yehuda Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Vaccines remain an effective yet controversial method for preventing infectious diseases like those caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and pandemic influenza (H1N1). However, reports of postvaccination serious adverse events such as autoimmunity, although rare, have caused great concerns among the general public. We aimed to summarize the recent knowledge regarding such interactions, mainly focusing on these new vaccines. Recent findings: Autoimmune phenomena have been associated with specific vaccines, and mechanisms for how this occurs have been elucidated for different vaccine components like the infectious antigen and adjuvant. New vaccines that include infrequently used or new adjuvants have been introduced for both HPV and the H1N1-pandemic influenza. Additionally, two formulations have been approved for use against HPV, and various formulations for the H1N1 influenza vaccine. Whereas preliminary studies are successful, early and late postimmunization events and differences between reagents must be followed closely, especially during mass immunization programs. Summary: As more diseases are found to be preventable through vaccination, it is of great importance to design better, more effective and better tolerated vaccines. This goal may be achieved utilizing improved vaccine components and a postmarketing system that may allow detection of rare postvaccination phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Rheumatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Adjuvant
  • Autoimmunity
  • H1N1 influenza vaccine
  • Human papilloma virus
  • Vaccine


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