Team:Shanghai high school/Human Practices

Integrated Human Practice Overview

Integrated Human Practice is more like an approach of promoting: the public was investigated and influenced by our project, and our task was made possible by the interviewees' feedback. Integrated Human Practice is extremely significant because it is dedicated to raising public awareness of rotavirus, developing the oral rotavirus vaccine, and making it accessible for parents. Therefore, we will have to interview people on the street and listen to experts' advice to achieve perfection. In addition, we spent a massive amount of time sorting out different kinds of problems, asking people for suggestions, and obtaining ideas for improvement. The figure below shows the result of brainstorming this section.


1. Interview with a pediatrician(Doctors who treat children) in Hebei Province

Doctor Aifang Li is a Director of pediatrics at Yangyuan Hospital in Hebei Province. We chose to interview Dr. Li because she is an expert in children's health, and she works in the hospital, which can be a representative of our stakeholders. According to Dr. Li, the rotavirus vaccine used by the hospital is a self-funded vaccine and intravenous vaccines are more expensive than oral vaccines. Therefore, some people are unwilling to be vaccinated because they do not want to pay for this additional price. This information helped us confirm our goal to lower the cost of the oral rotavirus vaccine. If we can successfully reduce the cost of the vaccine without losing its effect, the public will be more likely to accept our product. Then we asked Dr. Li if the hospital would buy and use our product. She referred that she could recommend our project to the pharmaceutical administration if the vaccine is successfully invented. Once we get the qualification, the hospital will consider whether to use our product. Dr. Li provided us with the most professional advice and paved the way for our future commercialization.

Tencent meeting with Dr. Li

2. Questionnaires for parents

To understand the prevalence of rotavirus and oral vaccines, we created and disseminated an online questionnaire. So far, 702 responses have been received. The following is our analysis of the questionnaire.

The age distribution of the people in this questionnaire is very wide, among which 73.6% are over 25 years old. In terms of gender, women account for 70.23%.

As you can see, nearly 70 percent of the respondents have heard about rotavirus. However, this data might not be accurate because our online questionnaire was spreaded in a medicine journal. People read the journal have a relatively high knowledge of disease, which means the actual percentage might be lower than the one we accquired in the online questionnaire.

In our survey, most people accurately pointed out the correct group of rotavirus infection, but the proportion of "young people", "pregnant women", "elderly" is also very high, which proves that some people can not correctly identify the victims of rotavirus.

People who had been injected or given the rotavirus vaccine were in the minority, with more than 80 percent unvaccinated or unable to remember whether they had been vaccinated. This shows that the public's understanding and awareness of rotavirus needs to be improved, and many people underestimate the infectivity and danger of rotavirus.

According to the data, when choosing the oral vaccine and the injection vaccine, people tend to choose the injection vaccine a little bit more than the oral vaccine, which may be because the injection vaccine is relatively popular in the market and people are used to the injection vaccine. The oral vaccine is a relatively new way of vaccination, so people have reservations about it.

If we succeed in developing an oral rotavirus vaccine that is safe and effective, to what extent would you accept it?

75.63% of the respondents support our team and think it acceptable or very acceptable, 19.94% of the respondents are in a wait-and see state, and only the remaining 4.42% of the respondents are not able to or do not accept the marketization of our research results.

2. Street interviews for parents

In this street survey about the prevalence of rotavirus, we selected people's Square in Shanghai as the sampling site, divided into three groups, and randomly interviewed 27 men and women, including married with children, married without children, and unmarried. We roughly divided the sample into four categories:

  • Women with children (7 persons)

  • Men without children (4 persons)

  • Women without children (12 persons)

  • Men with children (4 persons)

We interviewed people to know their knowledge about rotavirus. If they don't, we will give them a summary of what rotavirus is. Then we will carry out some knowledge popularization and publicize our team's oral vaccine development project.

After our statistics and analysis of the survey results, we come to the following conclusions:

  1. The subpopulation has a high degree of understanding of rotavirus. According to the data obtained, 11 people had heard of rotavirus, accounting for 68.75% of the total population, more than half. On the other hand, only two of the childless had heard of rotavirus, less than 20 percent of the total.

  2. Only about half of those who have heard of rotavirus know about its susceptibility and even fewer know about its symptoms. Of the 13 people who had heard of rotavirus, seven were able to identify infants and young children as susceptible to the disease. At the same time, only two described symptoms in detail (the data is highly inaccurate, but it does not mean that many did not know).

  3. Not many children have been vaccinated (by injection or oral), and some children are vaccinated after they get sick. Of the four parents who had their children vaccinated against rotavirus, three chose an injection, and one took it orally.

When we asked the respondents about our team's suggestions on the development of oral vaccines, many respondents agreed with our project. They pointed out that oral vaccine is painless and can make infants more willing to receive the vaccination. But some people have raised concerns and negations about the vaccine we are about to develop, as follows:

  1. Whether vaccines will cause adverse reactions in infants and young children;

  2. Children can heal themselves, and vaccines are of little significance;

  3. Whether the technical means pass the test;

  4. Some people prefer to inject vaccines because they think children are not willing to drink things they are not familiar with.

  5. Need to record with the Food and Drug Administration and see the practical effect after promotion.

A group of team members interviewed on the street

2. Reflection

According to the result of the street interview and an online questionnaire, the market acceptance would be high once our product was successfully developed, which means that our oral vaccine market prospects are up-and-coming. However, Rotavirus has not received enough attention from the public and needs to be strengthened. In addition, the level of knowledge about oral vaccines is generally low, and most people take them literally. As a result, our research and product development are essential, and the future market is up-and-coming.

Experts in different areas

1. Interview with Professor Han in Virology

Professor Han has a Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Lubeck, Germany, and a master of Science from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is currently a professor at a university in Wuhan, specializing in coronavirus research.

We interviewed Prof. Han through zoom meeting. Our goal is to promote our standing about Rotavirus and gain professional advice about our products. Therefore, we mainly asked about the origin of Rotavirus, type of Rotavirus, symptoms of Rotavirus, preventive measures of Rotavirus, and the injected vaccine technical difficulties.

The exact date of the origin of Rotavirus is hard to determine. However, starting from the Neolithic Age, humans began to raise and hunt wild animals. From then on, humans begin to suffer from kinds of viruses. The prime reason is the expansion of human activity and the increasing contact ratio with wild animals.

Rotavirus is one kind of virus that is closely related to personal health and sanitation and is commonly found in food pollution. On the scale of the globe, with high popularity, this virus can cause severe illness. In addition, it is easy to infect and transmit the virus if the food isn't clean enough since the Rotavirus can survive for ages and adhere to the surface of the food.

The main disease is gastroenteritis. The symptom is concentrated in diarrhea and vomiting. In addition, the patient will have a sign of gastrointestinal dysfunction, which leads to watery diarrhea. Sometimes, patients can heal by themselves, leading to a significant Rotavirus trait——from mild to severe. Commonly, after the improvement of the electrolyte balance and the start of the immune system, the virus will be cleared out.

The difficulty of producing injected vaccines is dramatic. Prof. Han stated that the viral vaccine is somewhat toxic, so the injected viral vaccine isn't fit the common people. Professor Han also noted that it is impractical for our team to finish the project in such a limited time, let alone the scientific difficulties about the vaccine. After getting the technical advice, we team gathered together to find another way to solve the problem.

As a result, we learned deeply about the Rotavirus. Also, we decided to use the oral vaccine that is easier and less time-consuming for us to produce.

Interview with Professor Han.

2. Interview with the Microbial Engineering Specialist Professor Wen

To further our understanding of the rotavirus and its current usage in China, we connected with Prof. Wen, a specialist in Microbial Engineering and who taught at Nanjing Normal University. After hearing about our oral vaccine project to combat rotavirus, he inspired us with some professional suggestions.

Prof. Wen acknowledged the necessity and potential of our project by indicating the lack of awareness and government subsidy in the Chinese rotavirus vaccination industry. Encountering this deep social barricade, our team decided to approach from another perspective to make the vaccine more affordable for the public----lowering the cost by changing the original vaccine carrier from lactic acid bacteria to Escherichia coli or Bacillus subtilis. As Prof. Wen gave kudos for our innovative thought and our right use of Bacillus subtilis to express VP7 protein for its outstanding secretion ability and accessibility, he also suggested restraining the vaccine's adequate time. Many vaccine companies intend to prolong the effective periods to gain profit from the customers. In contrast, the longer the oral vaccine stays in the intestine, the receptor is more likely to have immune system intolerance, leading to an increased risk of contracting more diseases.

From this interview, we understood our mission and responsibility--to protect our children from the rotavirus and the drawback of the current vaccine market. By receiving professional verification of our idea in the scientific approach and support in the social aspect from Prof. Wen, Dr. Oral team is ready to keep marching forward for our final product and some positive social influence.

Tencent meeting with Professor Wen.

2. Interview with Mr. Zhang in Marketing Strategy

To inquire the professional advice, possible production method, the market scale of the rotavirus vaccine, and achievable marketing strategy, we interviewed Mr.Andong Zhang, a senior risk control manager in COSCO Leasing Co., Ltd with a concentration in the medical industry.

Firstly, we proposed our idea about mixing vaccines with drinks. Mr. Zhang explained the merits of our original thought from the perspective of the supervision system of food safety and marketing acceptance. Because we haven't determined the definition of our products, it is hard to decide on which inspection system we should follow. Mr. Zhang stated that consumers can expel us. Furthermore, it is not beneficial for us to promote our sales.

Then, we asked Mr. Zhang about the rotavirus vaccine's marketing outlook and the rotavirus vaccine's scale. Although, because of the lack of government subsidies, the major vaccine companies have almost carved up the market share, the market prospects for our team are relatively small.

Finally, we asked for some suggestions about our current marketing strategy. Mr. Zhang suggested that we focus on underdeveloped countries like South African and Indian markets to gather and preserve our market in a short period.

Tencent meeting with Mr. Zhang

3. Interview with Dr. Li in the pediatric department

After the first meeting with Dr. Li, we found her advice helpful and great expertise. We had a Zoom meeting with Doctor Aifang Li for the second time to consult about how rotavirus harms children and how our oral vaccines might work. During the teleconferencing, Dr. Aifang Li told us that infants or young children who get a virus would catch a fever and diarrhea. What's more, infants can dehydrate and convulse, which is because of their broken electrolyte balance. The worst consequence will be death. So parents should take it seriously when their children are infected by rotavirus and take their children to the hospital as soon as possible if needed.

Then, we asked how doctors would treat these children who get rotavirus. Dr. Aifang Li said that oral rehydration and diet therapy are common treatments if the symptom is not severe. However, if the sign gets severe, intravenous infusion would be used to rebalance the electrolyte. The thing is that there are no specific anti-virus drugs for rotavirus patients.

Not all children can take rotavirus vaccines. Dr. Aifang Li mentioned some prerequisites for vaccination. First, a child cannot take a vaccine with a fever or with an acute illness. Then he cannot be a person with immune system diseases. Therefore, it would be dangerous for these kinds of people to be vaccinated.

Dr. Aifang Li answered our questions patiently and gave us a lot of valuable advice. We are thankful for her patience and encouragement.

Internal Meetups

The wet team is in charge of experiments, and the dry team is in charge of popularizing our project. Our two teams have meetups regularly: exchange information and give opinions. We will set up a zoom meeting every day after work, the members of both teams will be gathered, and the unsolved questions can be discussed and solved. By doing this, we can receive information from another professional point of view, thus improving our project. Throughout our discussion, the dry team will gather information from the expert interview and report it to the wet team to help them improve their experimental method. On the other hand, the wet team reports back with the daily progress of the experiment.


Integrated Human Practice was essential for the improvement of our team due to the transformation of emphasis from theory-based to realistic. In interviewing experts and analyzing the online questionnaire, we adopt their precious advice and work for better improvements. Eventually, we found the most feasible way of making our vaccine in terms of low difficulty and less time. Thus, driven by Integrated Human Practice, we successfully achieved our goal.