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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a pregnant woman poses a serious risk to her infant at birth. Without postexposure immunoprophylaxis, approximately 40% of infants born to HBV-infected mothers in the United States will develop chronic HBV infection, approximately one-fourth of whom will eventually die from chronic liver disease.
Perinatal HBV transmission can be prevented by identifying HBV-infected (i.e., Hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg]-positive) pregnant women and providing Hepatitis B immune globulin and Hepatitis B vaccine to their infants within 12 hours of birth.
Preventing perinatal HBV transmission is an integral part of the national strategy to eliminate Hepatitis B in the United States. National guidelines call for the following:
- Universal screening of pregnant women for HBsAg during each pregnancy
- Case management of HBsAg-positive mothers and their infants
- Provision of immunoprophylaxis for infants born to infected mothers, including Hepatitis B vaccine and Hepatitis B immune globulin
- Routine vaccination of all infants with the Hepatitis B vaccine series, with the first dose administered at birth
Guidelines and Recommendations
Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations for Infants, Children, and Adolescents
Related Article: Newborn Hepatitis B Vaccination Coverage Among Children Born January 2003–June 2005 — United States
Scientific Tools and Resources
Commercial Hepatitis B Serologic Assays
Interpretation of Hepatitis B Serologic Test Results
This one page tool describes the four most common tests used in hepatitis B serologic testing and provides guidance to interpret different patterns of test results.
Summary Table [PDF- 1 page]
Screening Pregnant Women for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection and Screening and Referral Algorithm for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection among Pregnant Women
Page one of this tool lists newly offered prenatal hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) tests at four major commercial laboratories that indicate pregnancy status on reportable positive HBsAg results. Page two provides a clinical algorithm for screening and referral of pregnant women who are HBsAg-positive. Tool [PDF- 2 pages]
Policies and Procedures for Prenatal Care and Delivery Hospitals
Reporting Requirements by State
Maternal Hepatitis B Screening and Reporting Requirements (by State)
National Quality, Forum (NQF) Measure 0475 “Hepatitis B Vaccine Coverage Among All Live Newborn Infants Prior to Hospital or Birthing Facility Discharge”
The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NQF Perinatal Measure 0475 “Hepatitis B Vaccine Coverage Among All Live Newborn Infants Prior to Hospital or Birthing Facility Discharge.” This measure was 1 of 14 measures formally endorsed by the NQF Board of Directors on April 2, 2012. Measure 0475 can be found on the NQF website and was updated there on April 2, 2014 with e-specification for calculation of the measure, which can also be found on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s website.
As a quality indicator, each hospital/birthing facility is encouraged to measure the rate of administration of the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine prior to discharge among all live infants born in their hospital/birthing facility during a specific time period (usually one calendar year). Hospitals are asked to exclude infants whose parents refused vaccination. Please find below documents outlining the specifications for the measure and an appendix of the ICD-9 codes and ICD-10 codes that might be used to calculate the hepatitis B birth dose coverage rate.
NQF #0475 [PDF - 3 pages] AppendixA [PDF - 2 pages]
Public Health Department Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator List
Contact information for state, territorial, and local coordinators who work in the health department and provide case management to prevent perinatal transmission of HBV infection
Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Coordinator List
Childhood Immunization Schedule
Patient Education Tools
|When a Pregnant Woman Has Hepatitis B|
|Hepatitis B and Your Baby||Spanish||Spanish|
Educational Slide Presentations
This slide presentation is audio-visual educational tool that describes the importance of getting babies vaccinated against hepatitis B if a mother has hepatitis B infection. It can be played from the website, or downloaded and printed to be used as a flip chart. The 13 page slide presentation uses plan and simple language. Audio is available in:
- Mandarin Chinese
- Tagalog/Taglish (written only)
This slide presentation is a 24 page illustrated educational tool for pregnant women who have Hepatitis B. The slide presentation explains the importance of getting babies vaccinated against Hepatitis B to prevent transmission of the disease. It is available in a written format only, but can be downloaded and printed to be used as a flip chart. The text is in easy to understand English, and also available in Spanish.
Specific Sites and Tools
Program ResourcesHepatitis B Vaccine at BirthVariety of materials on the birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine
State Immunization Laws for Health Care Workers and Patients
Maternal Hepatitis B screening and reporting requirements (by state)
Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Coordinators Program Page
A resource center for CDC-funded perinatal Hepatitis B prevention programs
- Page last reviewed: July 21, 2015
- Page last updated: July 21, 2015
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