Research Papers: Immunology:

Ineffectiveness of the 2014-2015 H3N2 influenza vaccine

Michal Mandelboim _, Aharona Glatman-Freedman, Yaron Drori, Hilda Sherbany, Rakefet Pando, Hanna Sefty, Hila Zadka, Tamar Shohat, Nathan Keller and Ella Mendelson

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:1185-1192. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6746

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Michal Mandelboim1, Aharona Glatman-Freedman2,3, Yaron Drori1, Hilda Sherbany1, Rakefet Pando1, Hanna Sefty2, Hila Zadka2, Tamar Shohat2,4, Nathan Keller5,6 and Ella Mendelson1,4

1 Central Virology Laboratory, Ministry of Health, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan, Israel

2 The Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel Ministry of Health, Tel-Hashomer, Israel

3 Departments of Pediatrics and Family and Community Medicine, Valhalla, New York, USA

4 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

5 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel

6 Ariel University Centre, Ariel, Israel

Correspondence to:

Michal Mandelboim, email:

Keywords: influenza, vaccine, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: September 17, 2015 Accepted: November 27, 2015 Published: December 23, 2015


The seasonal influenza vaccine is currently the most effective preventive modality against influenza infection. Nasopharyngeal samples of vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients presenting with Influenza-like-illness (ILI) were collected from over 20 outpatient clinics located in different geographic parts of Israel and were tested for the presence of influenza viruses (influenza A and influenza B). Here we show, that in the 2014-2015 season, the vaccine that included the A/Texas/50/2012 H3N2 virus was ineffective. Significant numbers of individuals vaccinated with the 2014-2015 vaccine, of all ages, were infected with influenza A (H3N2), manifesting similar symptoms as the non-vaccinated group. We further demonstrate that the Israeli circulating influenza A(H3N2) virus was different than that included in the 2014-2015 northern hemisphere vaccine, and that antibodies elicited by this vaccine were significantly less efficient in neutralizing influenza A(H3N2) infection.

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