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May 4, 1994

Inactivated Hepatitis A Vaccines

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr Lemon is a consultant for and has received research support from Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pa, and has received an honorarium from SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, Rixensart, Belgium.

JAMA. 1994;271(17):1363-1364. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510410075037

In this issue of JAMA, Innis and colleagues1 describe a remarkable clinical trial of a new, formalin-inactivated hepatitis A vaccine performed among 40 119 children in Thailand. An impressive effort, this study compared the frequency of hepatitis A in children aged 1 to 16 years after two or three doses of either the hepatitis A vaccine developed by SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, Rixensart, Belgium, or a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis A vaccine was found to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic illness associated with elevated serum alanine aminotransferase and positive IgM antibodies to hepatitis A virus (HAV). No serious adverse reactions were noted after administration of more than 109 000 doses. This is the second clinical trial to document efficacy of an investigational, formalin-inactivated hepatitis A vaccine; it follows the 1992 report of a similar vaccine developed by Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pa,

See also p 1328.

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