Hong Kong Med J 1995;1:137-9 | Number 2, June 1995
SEMINAR PAPERS--INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Does Hong Kong need hepatitis A vaccine?
YY Ho, BCH Chan
World Health Organisation Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
The inactivated hepatitis A vaccine available in Hong Kong is efficacious and useful in preventing hepatitis A. Incorporating hepatitis A vaccination as part of the childhood immunisation programme would require that it be extremely safe and effective. The vaccine needs to have a long duration of protection and be able to be combined with other antigens to minimise the cost of delivery. Most importantly, it should be available to the public sector at low cost. A hepatitis A immunisation programme as a public health preventive measure is cost-beneficial, but the programme itself is expensive. As booster doses are probably required for prolonged protection, difficulties in giving booster doses above the Expanded Programme of Immunisation age limit of 15 years would render a universal immunisation programme impractical at this stage in Hong Kong.
Key words: Hepatitis A; Vaccines, inactivated; Immunisation schedule, active; Hong Kong
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