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With emergence of MHC class I tetramers loaded with CD8+ T-cell viral epitopes, it is possible to study virus-specific CD8 cells in humans during infection and after vaccination. MHC class I tetramers was used to detect the frequency of haemagglutinin (HA)-specific T cells in 26 healthy influenza-vaccinated humans. Peripheral blood was collected before, and 7, 14 and 28 days after vaccination. Four-colour flow cytometry was used for monitoring of vaccine induced T-cell response. In 15 donors, two- to fivefold increase in frequency of HA-specific T cells was observed 7 days after vaccination. In addition, in 12 of these donors, this increase was accompanied with fourfold increase of H1N1 antibody titre. The increase in frequency of HA-specific CD8+/IFN-γ+ cells was low and peaked 28 days after vaccination in three of the six donors tested. Frequencies of HA-specific CD8+ T cells and antibody titre returned to prevaccination values 1 year after vaccination. Subunit influenza vaccines have the ability to induce HA-specific CD8+ cells. As the immune response to this vaccine decreased significantly after 1 year, our results confirm the importance of annual immunization for adequate protection.