Efficacy of an accelerated double-dose hepatitis B vaccine regimen in patients with cirrhosis

J Viral Hepat. 2021 Mar 24. doi: 10.1111/jvh.13509. Online ahead of print.


The hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine is recommended in unvaccinated adults with cirrhosis, despite its low efficacy. We aimed to evaluate the response to a double-dose/accelerated vaccine schedule in patients with cirrhosis admitted into a hepatology ward. All patients with cirrhosis admitted to the hepatology ward without exclusion criteria were offered the HBV HBVAXPRO 40mcg vaccine at months 0, 1 and 2. Non-responders received a second cycle. We evaluated 468 patients and only 19% were seroprotected against HBV. In 196 patients without exclusion criteria for HBV vaccination, the per protocol response rate (anti-HBs >10 U/ml) was 23% after a first cycle and 59% after a second cycle. The overall response per intention to treat was only 23%. We have not identified predictors of response. Only one patient had a mild adverse event. Most patients with cirrhosis admitted in the hepatology ward are unprotected against HBV. Although a second HBV vaccination cycle increases the response rate, the poor overall response reinforces the implementation of HBV vaccination before the development of cirrhosis.

Keywords: hepatitis B; hepatitis B vaccines; liver cirrhosis; liver transplantation; vaccination.