Our department has been concerned with child health in the community. Growth, intellectual development, psychological and mental health, nutrition, disease prevention are some of the focus areas of community medicine within us. Based on the principle "Prevention is better than cure" and the benefit of the children's health in the future, the Department has conducted a number of large scale vaccine clinical trials in recent years. The vaccine trials include rotavirus vaccine, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, and influenza vaccine.
I. Rotavirus Vaccine
Gastroenteritis is very common in children during their childhood and is regarded as a mild disease in Hong Kong. However, rotavirus gastroenteritis causes 215,000 deaths of which most are in developing countries annually. From 2002, the Department collaborated with Singapore and Taiwan to conduct a 3-year large-scale multicenter clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the rotavirus vaccine. This study recruited more than 10 thousand of infants. The results showed that the vaccine could provide a high level of protection against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) (96.1% efficacy) in Asia. We also conducted the territory's first study on the real-world effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine during the peak season of rotavirus in 2014/2015 in Hong Kong. The results published in Vaccine showed that rotavirus vaccine can prevent about 90% hospitalizations of children below 5 years of age.
II. Human papilloma virus (HPV) Vaccine
According to the information from National Cancer Institue, HPV type 16 and 18 are responsible for about 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. In 2011-2015, we conducted a randomized trial with 21 sites to compare the immunogenicity and safety of the HPV-16/18 vaccine and HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine. After analyzing the results from 1075 participants, it concluded that the HPV- 16/18 vaccine could elicit a superior antibody response to HPV-6/11/16/18. More details can be found in Vaccine Vol 36 (issue 1).
III. International collaboration in bettering the estimation of pertussis in children
In addition to conducting local studies, we also care the children's health around the world. In collaboration with a research team at World Health Organization (WHO), we revised the model to provide a more accurate estimation of pertussis in children younger than 5 years, and hence improve country-level decision making in pertussis control. This study has been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.