Vaccination adjuvated against hepatitis B in Spanish National Healthcare System (SNS) workers typed as non-responders to conventional vaccines

Vaccine. 2021 Jan 15;39(3):554-563. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.12.006. Epub 2020 Dec 15.


Trial design: An interventional, phase 4, single group assignment, without masking (open label), preventive clinical trial was carried out in health workers with biological risk in their tasks, who have been filed as non-responders to conventional vaccination against Hepatitis B.

Methods: 67 health workers with biological risk in their tasks, who have been filed as non-responders to conventional vaccination against Hepatitis B, were enrolled in the Clinical Trial. All participants were from 18 years up to 64 years old.

Inclusion criteria: NHS workers -including university students doing their internships in health centres dependent on the National Health System (inclusion of students is regulated and limited by specific instructions on labour prevention in each autonomous community)- classified as non-responders. The criteria defining them as non-responders to the conventional hepatitis B vaccine is anti HBsAb titers < 10 mUI/ml following the application of six doses of conventional vaccine at 20 μg doses (two complete guidelines). The objective of this study was to provide Health workers-staff with an additional protection tool against hepatitis B infection, and to evaluate the efficacy of the adjuvanted vaccine in healthy non-responders to conventional hepatitis B vaccine. The primary outcome was the measurement of antibody antiHBs before the first Fendrix® dose and a month after the administration of each dose. Other outcome was collection of adverse effects during administration and all those that could be related to the vaccine and that occur within 30 days after each dose. In this study, only one group was assigned. There was no randomization or masking.

Results: The participants were recruited between April 13, 2018 and October 31, 2019. 67 participants were enrolled in the Clinical Trial and included the analyses. The primary immunisation consists of 4 separate 0.5 ml doses of Fendrix®, administered at the following schedule: 1 month, 2 months and 6 months from the date of the first dose. Once the positivity was reached in any of the doses, the participant finished the study and was not given the following doses. 68.66% (46 out 67) had a positive response to first dose of Fendrix®. 57.14% (12 out 21) had a positive response to second dose of Fendrix®. 22.22% (2 out 9) had a positive response to third dose of Fendrix and 42.96% (3 out 7) had a positive response to last dose of Fendrix®. Overall, 94.02% (64 out 67) of participants had a positive response to Fendrix®. No serious adverse event occurred.

Conclusions: The use of Fendrix®, is a viable vaccine alternative for NHS workers classified as "non-responders". Revaccination of healthy non-responders with Fendrix®, resulted in very high proportions of responders without adverse events.

Trial registration: The trial was registered in the Spanish National Trial Register (REEC), and inclusion has been stopped (identifier NCT03410953; EudraCT-number 2016-004991-23).

Funding: GRS 1360/A/16: Call for aid for the financing of research projects in biomedicine, health management and socio-health care to be developed in the centres of the Regional Health Management of Autonomous Community of Castile-Leon. In addition, this work has been supported by the Spanish Platform for Clinical Research and Clinical Trials, SCReN (Spanish Clinical Research Network), funded by the Subdirectorate General for Research Evaluation and Promotion of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), through the project PT13/0002/0039 and project PT17/0017/0023 integrated in the State Plan for R&D&I 2013-2016 and co-financed by and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Keywords: Conventional vaccine; Fendrix®; Health centres dependent; Preventive clinical trial; Viable vaccine alternative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines

Associated data