Research Highlights

Public health: Safe and effective

Subject Categories: Clinical medicine

Published online 2 February 2011

doi:10.1038/nchina.2010.140

A large-scale survey in China shows that the PANFLU.1 vaccine is safe and effective against H1N1 virus infection

Felix Cheung

© (2010) istockphoto.com/JurgaR

For people living in China, 2009 was a year to remember. The country confirmed its first case of the pandemic influenza H1N1 virus infection on 10 May — less than five months before the sixtieth Anniversary of the People's Republic of China, a national celebration event held in Beijing with military parades and civilian gatherings that involved more than 100,000 participants, including primary and middle school students.

To minimize the risks of H1N1 virus infection, over a five-day period in September 2009 the Chinese government offered free vaccination to 95,244 adults and children who were due to participate at the event. The influenza vaccine, called PANFLU.1, was a newly licensed vaccine at the time and its safety and effectiveness were unclear.

Jiang Wu and co-workers at the Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China and Fujie Xu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA, have now assessed the safety and effectiveness of the PANFLU.1 vaccine by surveying the incidence of neurological disorders at all hospitals in Beijing and comparing the incidence of H1N1 virus infection of vaccinated students with that of unvaccinated students1. The researchers identified 362 cases of neurological disorders, including 27 cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome, ten weeks after the mass vaccination. However, none of the cases were related to the PANFLU.1 vaccine.

The researchers also found that the incidence of H1N1 virus infection was 35.9 per 100,000 students in the vaccinated group and 281.4 per 100,000 students in the unvaccinated group. The effectiveness of the PANFLU.1 vaccine was therefore 87.3%.

Taken together, the data show that PANFLU.1 is a safe and effective vaccine against H1N1 virus infection.

The authors of this work are from:
Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China; Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Reference

  1. Wu, J. et al. Safety and effectiveness of a 2009 H1N1 vaccine in Beijing. N. Engl. J. Med. 363, 2416–2423 10.1056/NEJMoa1006736 (2010).  | Article | PubMed | ISI |