To evaluate the efficacy of the mass hepatitis B vaccination program in Taiwan in interrupting perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission, 3464 randomly selected 18-month-old infant vaccinees born to hepatitis B surface antigen—carrier mothers were recruited from 9697 eligible infants during a six-month period of the program. They were divided into ten groups according to maternal infectivity and compliance with the vaccination schedule. Serum samples were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen, and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen. In 786 infants who had highly infectious mothers and who received hepatitis B immune globulin and vaccine on schedule, the protective efficacy was about 85%. The efficacy seemed to be slightly lower in those immunized off schedule. Overall, 11% of infants still carried hepatitis B surface antigen, and 81% of the infants had antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen that exceeded 10 mlU/mL in more than 90% of them. The geometric mean titers of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen were more than 200 mlU/mL in every group of infants. We conclude that the mass vaccination program is efficacious in preventing perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission and the chronic carrier state; most infant vaccinees have adequate levels of protective antibody at 18 months of age. This program is extremely significant in the control of hepatitis B virus infection in Taiwan.
Hsu H, Chen D, Chuang C, et al. Efficacy of a Mass Hepatitis B Vaccination Program in Taiwan: Studies on 3464 Infants of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen—Carrier Mothers. JAMA. 1988;260(15):2231–2235. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150079034
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