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December 11, 1996

Vaccine Against Human Hepatitis B

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Virus and Cell Biology Research, Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research, West Point, Pa.

JAMA. 1996;276(22):1793-1795. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540220017010

• A highly purified and inactivated vaccine was made of hepatitis B virus surface antigen. The vaccine was tested exhaustively for safety by ordinary procedures and additionally in chimpanzees and marmosets. It was highly potent and induced antibody in guinea pigs, grivet monkeys, and chimpanzees after three doses of vaccine were given subcutaneously. Chimpanzees given three doses of vaccine were protected against challenge with 1,000 chimpanzee-infectious doses of live human hepatitis B virus given intravenously in controlled studies. Tests of the vaccine for control of hepatitis B in man are to be carried out.