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December 11, 1996

Success of Mass Vaccination of Infants Against Hepatitis B-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Taiwan University Hospital Taipei

JAMA. 1996;276(22):1803. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540220027022

In Reply.  —We are glad to know that the work of Dr Durand and colleagues confirms our results of hepatitis B seroepidemiology after a mass immunization program on populationbased samples of children 3 to 4 years of age. A hepatitis B vaccination program without administration of HBIG may yield good results in an area of lower maternal hepatitis B virus e antigen (HBeAg) seropositivity rate in HBsAg-carrier mothers. In a previous study, the efficacy of hepatitis B immunization increased from 75% with vaccination alone to 94% with addition of HBIG in infants born to HBeAg-seropositive, HBsAg carrier mothers.1 The strategy of maternal screening and administration of HBIG may differ with consideration of HBeAg seropositivity rate and financial issues in different areas. However, a universal hepatitis B immunization program is recommended for all newborns in both high-rate and low-rate endemic areas to prevent HBV infection and its related diseases.