A Phase III trial has shown that an experimental hepatitis E vaccine made by Xiamen Innovax Biotech of China is safe and effective.

The vaccine, known as HEV 239, is a recombinant vaccine, which means it contains a protein from the virus to stimulate the body’s immune system.

The trial involved 97, 356 healthy participants from China’s coastal province of Jiangsu. Half were given the vaccine, while the other half were given a placebo.

The vaccine was given in three doses: the second dose was given a month after first dose and the third dose was given six months after the first.

One year after the administration of the first dose, 15 people from the placebo group were found to beinfected with hepatitis E, while none in the vaccine group were infected.

The vaccine was not linked to any serious side effects.

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Researchers said that further studies were needed to assess the safety and benefits of the vaccine for pregnant women, the under 15s and the over 65s.

The study results were published in The Lancet.