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Preventing Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B virus is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact with an infected person or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. Hepatitis B virus can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth. Learn more about hepatitis B.

The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated. The World Health Organization recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all infants beginning at birth. Globally, chronic Hepatitis B affects approximately 350 million people and contributes to an estimated 620,000 deaths worldwide every year.

CDC’s work to prevent hepatitis B

Documenting the magnitude of the problem

  • Conduct surveys to evaluate the impact of hepatitis B vaccine in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Haiti and Tajikistan
  • Conduct surveys to assess the burden of hepatitis B in pregnant women in Haiti to guide vaccination policy
  • Assess the burden of hepatitis B in Afghanistan to determine if birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine should be introduced


  • Assess whether or not hepatitis B can be detected through saliva (oral fluids)
  • Assessing whether or not rapid field testing methods are accurate compared to the gold standard ELISA lab-based testing

Improving coverage of hepatitis B vaccine birth dose

  • Pilot to evaluate best practices for using hepatitis B vaccine in a controlled temperature chain in rural Lao PDR; plan to scale up in 2014-2015
  • Pilot to evaluate the impact of providing cell phones to village health volunteers to improve timely reporting of new home births and its impact on birth dose administration in Lao PDR
  • Evaluating and improving birth dose implementation in health facilities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea
  • Global hepatitis B birth dose introduction guidelines

Evaluating the impact of hepatitis B vaccines after introduction

  • Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, South Pacific Islands (French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru), Papua New Guinea, Oman
  • Assisting GAVI Alliance with estimating lives saved because of hepatitis B vaccine

Additional resources

  • Page last reviewed: June 2, 2014
  • Page last updated: June 2, 2014
  • Content source:

    Global Health
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