Perinatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission is a major determinant of HBV carrier status and is strongly associated with HBV prevalence, particularly hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) prevalence in childbearing women, and with vaccine coverage levels of hepatitis B birth dose. For the prevention of perinatal and early horizontal transmission of HBV, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the universal administration of a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) within the first 24 hours of life. While approximately 90% of infants infected perinatally become chronic carriers, the risk for chronic HBV infection decreases to 30% for children infected between ages one and four years and to less than 5% for persons infected as adults. Chronic HBV infection manifests predominantly as liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, for which treatment is limited in many countries. Recent prevalence estimates suggest that globally 240 million peopleare chronically infected with HBV.
Estimating Coverage of Hepatitis B Birth Dose Vaccination: A Pilot Study in Western Pacific Countries: Anthony Burton
Last date updated on July, 2014