Fast Facts on Global Hepatitis B

Updated July 27, 2022

← Data and Statistics

Hepatitis B Affects Millions of People Around the World

  • Hepatitis B affects approximately 296 million people, including over 6 million children under the age of 5.
  • Hepatitis B contributes to an estimated 820,000 deaths every year.
  • 25% of chronic hepatitis B infections progress to liver cancer.

Hepatitis B Causes Serious, Lifelong Health Problems

Hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer globally. It can also cause:

  • Liver damage
  • Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • Liver failure
  • Death

Hepatitis B Vaccination Within 24 Hours of Birth Prevents Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of the Virus

  • Women who are living with hepatitis B can transmit the virus to their newborns during birth (mother-to-child transmission).
  • MTCT of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the primary source of chronic infections worldwide.
  • If not vaccinated, 9 out of 10 infants infected with HBV at birth will progress to chronic HBV infections.
  • In 2021, over half of all newborns worldwide were not protected by a universal hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth.

Hepatitis B Is Preventable

  • Safe and effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis B have been available since the 1980s.
  • Vaccination within 24 hours of birth followed by 2 to 3 additional doses provides life-long protection against hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B Vaccines Save Lives and Money


Page last reviewed: March 22, 2022
Content source: Global Immunization