Hepatitis B maternal screening, infant vaccination, and infant prophylaxis practices in North Carolina

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Jun;153(6):619-23. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.153.6.619.


Objectives: To determine if the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices hepatitis B screening, vaccination, and prophylaxis recommendations were being followed in North Carolina, and to establish a baseline hepatitis B seroprevalence rate.

Design: A survey of mother and infant birthing facility medical records.

Setting: Four birthing facilities selected from each of the 7 districts in North Carolina (a total of 28 facilities).

Participants: A probability proportional to size survey design was used to select 4763 mother-infant record pairs. All records came from the 1996 birth cohort.

Main outcome measures: Maternal hepatitis B screening status, infant vaccination status, infants prophylaxis status, hepatitis B seroprevalence rate, demographic and clinical predictors for maternal infection, failure to receive prenatal care or for whom status was unknown, failure to screen, and failure to vaccinate.

Results: Ninety-two percent of pregnant women were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen. Eighty-six percent of infants received dose 1 of the hepatitis B vaccine. Four of the 9 infants with mothers who were hepatitis B surface antigen-positive did not receive both vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin. The hepatitis B seroprevalence rate was 0.2%. Mothers who were not screened for infection were 3.4 times more likely to have infants who were not vaccinated. White mothers were twice as likely not to have their child vaccinated as mothers of other races.

Conclusions: Not all infants with hepatitis B-infected mothers were receiving vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin as recommended. Seroprevalence of hepatitis B infection may be lower in North Carolina than in other states. Hepatitis B laboratory test results should be included in every mother's medical record.

MeSH terms

  • Birthing Centers
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hepatitis B / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulins*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Maternal Welfare
  • Medical Records
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Regional Medical Programs
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulins
  • hepatitis B hyperimmune globulin