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Hepatitis B vaccination at birth: reduces perinatal transmission successfully

International Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination
Salahuddin Mahmud, Syed Shafi Ahmed

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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most important global health problem including Bangladesh. HBV carrier rate was found between 2-7% in many studies. After acute infection, chance of chronicity in adult is only 10%, but in neonate that is 90%. Out of these, 25% were suffering from acute liver failure & hepatocellular carcinoma and ultimate result is premature death. Chronic Hepatitis B Virus infection is not curable, only suppressing the activity with available treatment. So, prevention is better than cure. Active immunization is the single most important and effective preventive measure against HBV infection. Bangladesh introduced hepatitis B vaccination in children through Expanded Program on Immunization in 2005 which includes 3 doses without any birth dose. World Health Organization, Centre for disease control & prevention and American academy of pediatrics recommends since perinatal or early postnatal transmission is the most important source of chronic HBV infection globally, all infants should receive their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth, ideally within 24 hours or before discharging the mother from hospital. Now a days, 10 million Bangladeshis are suffering from HBV and 3.5% mother are infected with that virus. From another study, 21.5% pregnant woman having core antibody of HBV as many of them were unvaccinated. Faulty pregnancy and donor screening as well as inaccurate method of testing also responsible for perinatal transmission in Bangladesh. So, we are missing lots of HBV everyday in our daily practice. After implementation of birth dose, many countries reduced perinatal transmission and prevalence rate of HBV successfully. 


hepatitis b vaccination, perinatal transmission, pregnancy screening, blood donor screening, hepatitis b virus prevalence