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UK vaccination schedule: persistence of immunity to hepatitis B in children vaccinated after perinatal exposure


Objective To assess persistence of immunity to hepatitis B (HBV) in primary school children vaccinated following perinatal exposure.

Design Serological survey.

Setting Five UK sites (Berkshire East, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire).

Participants Children from 3 years 4 months to 10 years of age (mean age 6.2 years), vaccinated against HBV from birth following perinatal exposure.

Interventions A single booster dose of the paediatric formulation of a recombinant HBV vaccine.

Main outcome measures Titres of antibody against hepatitis B Surface Antigen (anti-HBs) measured immediately before and 21–35 days after the HBV vaccine booster.

Results Prebooster anti-HBs titres were >10 mIU/ml in 84.6% of children (n=26; 95% CI 65.1 to 95.6%). All children (n=25, 95% CI 86.3 to 100%) had titres >100 mIU/ml after the booster.

Conclusions This study of antibody persistence among UK children born to hepatitis B infected women, immunised with a 3-dose infant schedule with a toddler booster suggests sustained immunity through early childhood. These data should prompt further studies to address the need for a preschool booster.

Trial registration Eudract Number 2008-004785-98.

  • Immunisation
  • Immunology

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