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AS03 (for "Adjuvant System 03") is the trade name for a squalene-based immunologic adjuvant used in various vaccine products by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It is used, for example, in GSK's A/H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine Pandemrix. Also in Arepannix and the new Q-pan for H5Ni influenza.[1]

A dose of AS03 adjuvant contains[2]


There was increased risk of anaphylaxis following administration of 2009 AS03-adjuvanted monovalent pandemic A/H1N1 vaccine. Anaphylaxis after trivalent influenza vaccination is typically reported at a rate of <1 per million doses. In Quebec, Canada, anaphylaxis following administration of the monovalent AS03-adjuvanted H1N1pdm09 vaccine was reported through passive surveillance at a rate of 8 per million doses administered. This was 20 times higher than the reporting rate for non-adjuvanted trivalent vaccines administered during the six previous seasons. However, adequate estimation of the incidence of anaphylaxis is hindered by wide variations in definitions and diagnosis. Summary of paper:

  • Quebec passive surveillance showed an increase in anaphylaxis after H1N1pdm09 vaccination.
  • Many cases which were reported as other AEFI also met the criteria for anaphylaxis.
  • Anaphylaxis was likely underrecognized and its incidence higher than passively observed.
  • Incidence of anaphylaxis is estimated at 13 per million doses administered.
  • Enhanced public awareness is unlikely to be the predominant explanation for this increase. [3]


See also[edit]