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June 1, 1984

Crossing 'threshold' of hepatitis B control awaits greater vaccine use

JAMA. 1984;251(21):2765-2766. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340450003001

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"We presently stand at the threshold of control of hepatitis B [HBV] infection in the United States," says Edward N. Brandt, Jr, MD, assistant secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Crossing that threshold depends on the willingness of physicians and other groups at high risk of HBV infection to be immunized with the safe and effective plasma-derived vaccine now available in this country (JAMA 1982;247:2272-2276).

Vaccination with HEPTAVAX-B, produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme, West Point, Pa, and marketed since June 1982, is recommended for such groups by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Public Health Service (JAMA 1983;249:745-746) and by the American College of Physicians.

Persons at high risk in the medical community include physicians and surgeons; dentists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists, and dental nurses; allied health personnel; laboratory staff and custodial workers who come into contact with blood or any bodily secretion;