Hepatitis B vaccines: WHO position paper, July 2017 - Recommendations

Vaccine. 2019 Jan 7;37(2):223-225. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.07.046. Epub 2017 Jul 22.


This article presents the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendations on the use of hepatitis B vaccines excerpted from the Hepatitis B vaccines: WHO position paper, July 2017, published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record (Hepatitis B vaccines, 2017) [1]. This position paper replaces the May 2009 WHO position paper on hepatitis B vaccines (Hepatitis B vaccines, 2009) [2]. The position paper gives updated information on hepatitis B vaccines and their storage, transport and deployment. The recommendations concern the target groups for vaccination and the appropriate schedules. In particular, the recommendations stress the importance of vaccination of all infants at birth as the most effective intervention for the prevention of hepatitis B virus-associated disease worldwide. Footnotes to this paper provide a number of core references including references to grading tables that assess the quality of the scientific evidence, and to the evidence-to-recommendation table. In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to Member States on health policy matters, WHO issues a series of regularly updated position papers on vaccines and combinations of vaccines against diseases that have an international public health impact. These papers are concerned primarily with the use of vaccines in large-scale immunization programmes; they summarize essential background information on diseases and vaccines, and conclude with WHO's current position on the use of vaccines in the global context. Recommendations on the use of hepatitis B vaccines were discussed by SAGE in October 2016; evidence presented at these meetings can be accessed at: http://www.who.int/immunization/sage/meetings/2016/October/presentations_background_docs/en/.

Keywords: BCG; Birth dose; HBV; Health policy; Hepatitis B vaccines; Hepatitis B virus; Immunization programmes; OPV; Position paper; WHO.

MeSH terms

  • Health Policy
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Public Health
  • Vaccination
  • World Health Organization*


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines