According to a study, neonatal HBV vaccination reduces the risk of liver cancer and other liver diseases in young adults in China.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Cancer Institute & Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Qidong Liver Cancer Institute, China and Yale School of Public Health and School of Medicine. The study was published in PLOS Medicine.
The Merck Co. donated the vaccine and conducted the quality control tests The sponsors of the study had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the manuscript.
In the study, 41 rural towns were randomized and placed into the intervention or control groups. The study was conducted between 1983 and 1990 in Qidong County, a rural area in China with a high incidence of HBV-related primary liver cancer and other liver diseases.
The intervention group meant that all newborns received HBV vaccinations while the control group had no vaccinations for newborns. Two thirds of the control group participants received a catch-up vaccination at age 10-14 years old.
After collecting data on new cases of liver diseases over 30 years from a population-based tumor registry, the researchers estimated that the protective efficacy of vaccination was 84% for primary liver cancer, 70& for death from liver disease and 69% for the incidence of infant fulminant hepatitis.
The analysis showed that the efficacy of the catch-up vaccination on HBsAG seroprevalence in early adulthood was weak compared to neonatal vaccination.
The authors of the study assert that the results also suggest that an adolescence booster should be considered in people who were born to HBsAG-positive mothers and completed HBV neonatal vaccination series.
The authors also claim that no competing interests exist.