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Flu vaccine gives HK children moderate protection against H3N2: study

2015-02-16 16:47 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The effectiveness of this season 's flu vaccine in Hong Kong offers moderate protection against hospitalization in children due to H3N2 virus infection, according to the University of Hong Kong which made the result public on Monday.

The university's medical school studied the data of 298 children who were admitted to Queen Mary Hospital and Eastern Hospital with acute respiratory illness between Dec. 17, 2014 and Feb. 7, 2015. The children were tested for flu virus.

In typical flu season, the vaccine effectiveness is around 60 percent. The effectiveness is lowered due to antigenic drift this year, Gabriel Leung, Dean of the university's Faculty of Medicine, said, "However, the study result shows that the effectiveness in children is 46 percent, higher than the expected 20 to 30 percent. "

Leung said the result suggests that even though antigenic drift has happened in flu virus, the current flu vaccine is still capable of avoiding severe flu cases in children.

"Although vaccine protection is not hundred percent, it is worth getting vaccinated," he added.

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