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September 17, 1982

Indications for Hepatitis B Vaccine-Reply

Author Affiliations

New York University Medical Center New York

JAMA. 1982;248(11):1310. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330110018014

In Reply.—  In my discussion of the characteristics and indications for use of the hepatitis B vaccine, I stated, "The vaccine is recommended for infants, children and adults who are at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B infection." The 12 general groups listed in the accompanying Table 1 include persons at varying degrees of increased risk. Therefore, in establishing priorities for the use of the vaccine, preference should be given to those persons who are at greatest risk. Various epidemiologic studies have shown an increased risk of hepatitis B infection in persons who have frequent exposure to blood and contaminated needles, as well as in those who have intimate physical contact with carriers who are HBeAg positive.I am grateful to Dr Cohen, because his letter provides me with an opportunity to correct a misconception and to clarify my recommendations. The vaccine is certainly not recommended for all medical personnel;