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April 9, 1997

Perspectives on Hepatitis B Vaccination-Reply

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1124-1125. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380038026

In Reply.  —Numerous studies indicate that hepatitis B vaccines have an excellent safety profile and that adverse neurologic events following hepatitis B vaccination are exceedingly rare.1-4 Population-based studies following large-scale hepatitis B immunization programs for infants in Alaska, New Zealand, and Taiwan have not established an association between hepatitis B vaccination and the occurrence of serious neurologic adverse events.3-4In the United States, data on adverse events associated with vaccination are available through the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a passive surveillance system. In 1993, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed case reports in the medical literature and those reported to VAERS between November 1990 through July 1992 and concluded that the evidence to date was insufficient to assess a causal link between any serious neurologic event and hepatitis B vaccination.1 A more recent review by the Food and Drug Administration of case reports in VAERS for