Fast Facts on Global Hepatitis B
Updated July 27, 2022
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
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
- The hepatitis B vaccine is estimated to prevent 38 million deaths over the lifetime of persons born between 2000 and 2030 in 98 low- and middle-income countries.
- Between 2001 and 2020, hepatitis B vaccines saved an estimated $49 billion in cost of illness and $81 billion in total economic and societal values in 73 low- and-middle income countries.
Page last reviewed: March 22, 2022
Content source: Global Immunization