New Study Reveals Effects of Timely Hepatitis B Vaccination

by Caleb Sooknanan ‘20

hepatitis-b-virus

Figure 1: This is the structure of hepatitis B, which mainly affects the liver.

 

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that often attacks the liver. As infections have become increasingly common in Fujian, China, new measures have been created to control the virus’s impact. Such efforts have included vaccines for newborns and infants, as recommended in China’s national immunization program vaccine (NIPV) series. However, little is known about how the timely administration of the first dose of hepatitis B vaccines correlates with the completion of the NIPV series in Fujian. Dr. Jiang-nan Wu and researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai used a survey to analyze the correlation between a timely dose of the hepatitis vaccine and the completion of the hepatitis B (HB) vaccine and the NIPV series in 2013.

The survey was conducted in 2013 among children born in Fujian between 2010 and 2012. With this, the researchers also compared the immunization information of 1680 children from eight other Chinese counties with the vaccination records in immunization clinics.

In total, 6589 children and hospital newborns were evaluated in the study. 97.24% of the subjects had received a timely dose of the hepatitis vaccine, and 99.10% and 88.27% of those subjects went on to complete the HB vaccine and NIPV series, respectively. The percentages of children who had completed the HB vaccine series and the NIPV series among those with a timely HB vaccine first dose were 99.69% and 88.90%, respectively, while the percentages among those with a delayed HB vaccine dose were 83.05% and 71.19%, respectively.

The study was limited, as the data came only from vaccination records. It was therefore difficult to control or scrutinize any external variables while analyzing the relationship between the vaccine initiation and the series completion. In addition, the immunization of the children from only eight other counties were included in the analysis of the aforementioned relationship. Further investigation is needed to understand the factors influencing delays in administering the first dose, in order to implement more effective vaccination guidelines.

References:

  1. J. Wu, et al., Association between timely initiation of hepatitis B vaccine and completion of the hepatitis B vaccine and national immunization program vaccine series. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 51, 62-65 (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.08.018
  2. Image retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/hepatitis_b/article.htm
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