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November 12, 1982

Hepatitis B Immunity in Hospital Staff Targeted for Vaccination: Role of Screening Tests in Immunization Programs

JAMA. 1982;248(18):2266-2269. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180026026

To estimate how many hospital workers might be exempted from immunization with newly available but expensive hepatitis B vaccine, baseline serum samples were analyzed to determine prevalence and titer of hepatitis B (HB) surface antibody (anti-HBs) and prevalence of core antibody (anti-HBc). Among 1,370 persons tested, anti-HBs was present in 279 (20.4%), including 192 (14.0%) with titers of 10 ratio units or greater. In a subset of 746 subjects who denied recent exposures, and who were tested for anti-HBc and anti-HBs, at least one of the two antibodies was found in 172 (23.1%). There were 47 (6.3%) who had anti-HBs alone and 27 (3.6%) with anti-HBc alone. Prevalence was related more closely to clinical service (eg, renal dialysis or surgery) than to title (eg, physician or technician).

(JAMA 1982;248:2266-2269)