A hepatitis B subunit vaccine was given to 59 medical staff members, 106 hemodialysis patients and 28 renal allograft recipients. The vaccine consisted of formalin-inactivated hepatitis Bsurface antigen (HBsAg) and was given in 3 doses (times 0, 1 and 6 months) of 20-40 micrograms. Some of the vaccinees received anti-HBs antibodies together with the first vaccine dose (active/passive vaccination). One month after the last infection, 93% of the medical staff members who had received active/passive immunisation and 97% of those who had received active immunisation had detectable anti-HBs antibodies with mean titers ranging from 1:512 to 1:1024. In the group of hemodialysis patients antibodies were detectable in 63-65% of the individuals who had received active or passive/active immunisation in mean titers between 1:32 and 1:64. Finally, only 32% of the renal allograft patients developed measurable anti-HBs antibodies, the titers of responders being still lower than in the hemodialysis patients. Side effects occurred following 10% of all vaccine injections and were always mild in nature. Within the 12 months observation period period following the first vaccination, 3 HBV events occurred in the 193 individuals: One aclinical case detected by a transient seroconversion against the hepatitis B core antigen, one anicteric and one icteric hepatitis case. The data illustrate the difficulties for active immunisation against hepatitis B of hemodialysis patients or of renal transplant recipients.