Persistence of antibody to Hepatitis A virus 20 years after receipt of Hepatitis A vaccine in Alaska

J Viral Hepat. 2017 Jul;24(7):608-612. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12676. Epub 2017 Feb 2.


Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for children ≥1 year old to prevent hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. However, the duration of vaccine-induced immunity is unknown. We evaluated a cohort of Alaska Native persons 20 years after HAV vaccination. Children aged 3-6 years had been previously randomized to receive three doses of HAV vaccine (360 ELISA units/dose) at: (i) 0,1,2 months; (ii) 0,1,6 months; and (iii) 0,1,12 months. We measured anti-HAV antibody concentrations every 2-3 years; described geometric mean concentrations (GMC) and the proportion with protective antibody (≥20 mIU mL-1 ) over time; and modelled the change in GMC using fractional polynomial regression. Of the 144 participants, after 20 years 52 (36.1%) were available for the follow-up (17, 18, 17 children in Groups A, B and C, respectively). Overall, 46 (88.5%) of 52 available participants had anti-HAV antibody concentrations ≥20 mIU mL-1 , and overall GMC was 107 mIU mL-1 . Although GMC levels were lower in Group A (60; CI 34-104) than in Group B (110; CI 68-177) or Group C (184; CI 98-345) (B vs C: P=.168; A vs B/C: P=.011), there was no difference between groups after adjusting for peak antibody levels post-vaccination (P=.579). Models predicted geometric mean concentrations of 124 mIU mL-1 after 25 years, and 106 mIU mL-1 after 30 years. HAV vaccine provides protective antibody levels 20 years after childhood vaccination. Lower antibody levels in Group A may be explained by a lower initial peak response. Our results suggest a booster vaccine dose is unnecessary for at least 25-30 years.

Keywords: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis A vaccine; duration of protection; immunogenicity; infectious hepatitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alaska
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hepatitis A Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis A Vaccines / immunology*
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Hepatitis A Vaccines