Hepatitis B virus infection in a pregnant woman poses a serious risk to her infant at birth. Without postexposure prophylaxis, as many as 90% of infants born to HBV-infected mothers in the United States will become infected with HBV. Subsequently, 90% of those infants develop chronic HBV infection and approximately one-fourth of these infants eventually will die from liver-related complications.  A vaccine for hepatitis B is available, and, during the last 30 years, vaccination has prevented more than half a million U.S. children from acquiring the disease. Although the hepatitis B vaccine successfully prevents infection, women who have had the vaccine for hepatitis B should still get screened during every pregnancy.


Number of women aged 15-44 years living with chronic or acute HBV1


Number of infants with chronic HBV, 2009, United States2

20,678 (Estimated)3

11,334 (Identified)4

Number of pregnant women identified as living with HBV infection, 2015, United States

  1. Estimate represents U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized, household population of women aged 15-44 years in 2014 and is based on 2003-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.
  2. Ko SC, Fan L, Smith, EA, et al. Estimated annual perinatal hepatitis B virus infections in the United States, 2000-2009external icon. J of Ped Infect Dis Soc 2016;5:114–21.
  3. Number based on infants estimated to be born to HBV-infected women in 2015.
  4. Number based on infants born to HBV-infected women as identified by the national Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program in 2015.
Page last reviewed: May 22, 2019