The inactivated hepatitis B vaccine that was licensed in November 1981 will be distributed for general use later this year. Extensive studies have confirmed the safety, immunogenicity, and remarkable efficacy of this vaccine for the prevention of acute hepatitis B disease, asymptomatic infection, and the chronic hepatitis B carrier state. The vaccine is recommended for immunization of infants, children, and adults who are considered to be at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B infection. These population groups include medical, dental, laboratory, and other health care personnel, selected patients (eg, hemodialysis, thalassemia), clients and staff of institutions for the mentally disabled, homosexually active males, intimate contacts of carriers, users of illicit drugs, infants in high-risk areas, and other high-risk groups. The availability and appropriate use of the newly licensed hepatitis B vaccine should enable physicians to prevent a serious cause of acute and chronic liver disease.
Krugman S. The Newly Licensed Hepatitis B Vaccine: Characteristics and Indications for Use. JAMA. 1982;247(14):2012–2015. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320390074052
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