Background: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of the major causative agents of outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease or herpangina worldwide. This phase 3 trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of an EV71 vaccine.
Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial in which 10,007 healthy infants and young children (6 to 35 months of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two intramuscular doses of either EV71 vaccine or placebo, 28 days apart. The surveillance period was 12 months. The primary end point was the occurrence of EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease or herpangina.
Results: During the 12-month surveillance period, EV71-associated disease was identified in 0.3% of vaccine recipients (13 of 5041 children) and 2.1% of placebo recipients (106 of 5028 children) in the intention-to-treat cohort. The vaccine efficacy against EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease or herpangina was 94.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 87.2 to 97.9; P<0.001) in this cohort. Vaccine efficacies against EV71-associated hospitalization (0 cases vs. 24 cases) and hand, foot, and mouth disease with neurologic complications (0 cases vs. 8 cases) were both 100% (95% CI, 83.7 to 100 and 42.6 to 100, respectively). Serious adverse events occurred in 111 of 5044 children in the vaccine group (2.2%) and 131 of 5033 children in the placebo group (2.6%). In the immunogenicity subgroup (1291 children), an anti-EV71 immune response was elicited by the two-dose vaccine series in 98.8% of participants at day 56. An anti-EV71 neutralizing antibody titer of 1:16 was associated with protection against EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease or herpangina.
Conclusions: The EV71 vaccine provided protection against EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease or herpangina in infants and young children. (Funded by Sinovac Biotech; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01507857.).