In this study, researchers from Hong Kong, China, evaluated the long-term efficacy of a childhood hepatitis B vaccination program.
A total of 112 newborn babies of hepatitis B carrier mothers were given hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and a 10g 3-dose regimen of plasma-derived vaccine.
These were administered at a conventional (0, 1, 6 months), delayed (2, 3, 8 months) or accelerated (0, 1, 2 months) schedule.
The babies were followed up to determine their anti-HBs status over a 16-year period.
| The 3 schedules to be equally effective in preventing chronic infection.|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
The research team found that upon completion of the vaccination schedules, 93% developed antibody against surface antigen (anti-HBs) seroconversion. This rate fell to 33% at year 16.
The team also found the 3 schedules to be equally effective in preventing chronic infection, with a protective efficacy of 89% from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriage, compared with historical control.
However, study subjects on the delayed schedule had a slightly higher seroconversion rate over time. They were better able to maintain an anti-HBs level of ≥ 100 iu/l.
The team found that overall, a quarter of study subjects demonstrated evidence of exposure to the virus. They were positive for antibody against core antigen or HBsAg, or mounting a rise in anti-HBs during the follow-up period.
Dr Young’s team concluded, “A 3-dose hepatitis B vaccination regimen is generally effective in protecting newborns of hepatitis B carrier mothers from infection and chronic carriage”.
“Booster is not needed even after 16 years of monitoring.”