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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Progress in Hepatitis B Prevention Through Universal Infant Immunization—China, 1997 – 2006

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China has made substantial progress in implementing universal, timely hepatitis B vaccination of infants and in reducing disparities in vaccination rates between the poorest and wealthiest parts of the country. To achieve its goal of reducing chronic HBV infection among young children to less than 1 percent by 2010, China will need to continue its commitment to increasing hepatitis B vaccination rates in impoverished regions and to ensuring that infants born at home are vaccinated within 24 hours of birth. Approximately 60 percent of China’s population has a history of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and nearly 10 percent remain chronically infected with HBV and at risk for premature death from cirrhosis or liver cancer. China accounts for as many as half of all HBV-related deaths worldwide. Vaccination of infants with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, with the first dose administered within 24 hours of birth, is the key strategy for preventing chronic HBV infection and subsequent disease. In 2002, China integrated infant hepatitis B vaccine into its national immunization program and also began receiving funding from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance) to increase hepatitis B vaccination in its poorest regions. This report describes China’s progress in increasing the percentage of infants who receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth and who receive the complete, three-dose vaccine series.

Epidemiology of Chronic Hepatitis B Infections—San Francisco, 2006

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Persons diagnosed with chronic HBV infection should be referred for follow-up with health-care providers and their close contacts should be screened and offered vaccination if found to be susceptible to HBV infection. The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) received reports of probable chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection for 2,238 persons in 2006. From these reports, SFDPH collected additional data on a subset of 567 persons with confirmed chronic HBV infection. Eighty-four percent of persons with chronic HBV infection were Asians/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs), 80 percent of whom were foreign-born. Fewer than half had been referred to a gastroenterologist/hepatologist for evaluation at the time of reporting. Persons with chronic HBV infection may benefit from referral to healthcare providers with expertise in viral hepatitis. Their close contacts should be screened and offered vaccination if found to be susceptible to HBV infection. Resources are needed to ensure that health departments and health-care systems can provide appropriate follow-up and culturally appropriate counseling for persons with chronic HBV infection and their contacts.



  • Historical Document: May 10, 2007
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
  • Notice: Links to non-governmental sites do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.
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