Eleven different preparations of influenza virus were used to vaccinate large groups of human beings. The antibody response to these vaccines was measured by means of the in vitro agglutination inhibition test, and the geometric mean titers of sera taken 2 weeks after vaccination were compared. From these comparisons the following conclusions were drawn:
1. There was a wide individual variation in the antibody response of human beings to the same preparation of influenza virus administrated subcutaneously. The amount of antibody produced by a group with a low prevaccination antibody level was very nearly the same as the amount produced by groups that had higher initial levels.
2. The use of the X strain of distemper virus in the preparation of an influenza vaccine did not enhance the antigenicity of the influenza virus present.
3. Within certain limits the mean antibody response of human beings increased as the amount of virus injected was increased. When large amounts of influenza A virus were given, the antibody response was of the same order of magnitude as that which occurred following actual infection by this virus.
4. When the vaccine was prepared from allantoic fluid, there was no significant difference in the antibody response of human beings given active virus, formalin-inactivated virus, heat-inactivated virus, or virus inactivated by the drying process.
5. Ground infected chick embryos, when diluted with infected allantoic fluid, gave a greater antibody response than allantoic fluid alone (when the virus remained active). The antigenicity of such a preparation was diminished when the virus was inactivated by formalin.
6. Antibody levels 6 and 9 weeks after vaccination showed a marked drop from the 2-week postvaccination levels. In a small group the antibody levels at 5 months were still further reduced. Those individuals who possessed the higher titers tended to lose their antibodies faster than did those at a lower level.