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December 22, 1993

Host Factors Related to Poor Immunogenicity of Hepatitis B Vaccine in AdultsAnother Reason to Immunize Early

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Hepatitis Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Margolis), and the Office of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labor, Washington, DC (Dr Presson).

JAMA. 1993;270(24):2971-2972. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510240083038

Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been recognized as a significant hazard for persons with occupational exposure to blood or body fluids, and vaccination of these individuals has been recommended by the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee of the US Public Health Service.1 Following licensure of hepatitis B vaccine in late 1981, programs to vaccinate health care workers were found primarily in larger hospitals, and the highest vaccination rates were in those hospitals that paid for this cost-effective prevention measure.2 However, in 1985 it was estimated that fewer than 25% of health care workers had been vaccinated.2 In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued regulations to ensure protection of workers from the hazards of infection with bloodborne pathogens, which included requiring employers to provide hepatitis B vaccination.3 Because the proposed requirements were widely announced as part of the rule-making process of the Department