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August 20, 1982

Ineffectiveness of Hepatitis B Vaccination for the Hepatitis B Carrier State

JAMA. 1982;248(7):830. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330070018016

To the Editor.—  In a recent editorial (1982;247:2275), I stated that the new hepatitis B vaccine (Hepatavax-B) was associated with clearance of the hepatitis B carrier status, and this information is wrong. Many physicians are concerned for their patients or themselves, and several who are conducting investigations of Hepatavax-B have telephoned. From these communications, it is clear that many patients with hepatitis B carrier status have been vaccinated, and the vaccination almost always fails to provide antibodies. A recent publication describes one of these studies.1 I hope that this information prevents many persons from receiving the vaccine unnecessarily.