Long-term follow-up of hepatitis B vaccine in infants of carrier mothers

Am J Epidemiol. 1994 Oct 15;140(8):734-46. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a117321.


A program of immunization against hepatitis B, consisting of one dose of hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of birth and three doses of hepatitis B vaccine at 0, 1, and 6 months of age for all infants of carrier mothers, has been operating in British Columbia, Canada, since 1984. The authors report on a survey conducted in 1992 of children immunized between 1984 and 1989. The survey included blood tests obtained from the children and interviews of the mothers. A total of 770 of 1,135 eligible children participated. Thirty-one percent of the mothers had been positive for hepatitis B e antigen prior to the birth of the child. At follow-up, the overall antibody against hepatitis B surface antigen seropositivity rate for children was 87.9 percent. A total of 5.1 percent of children had evidence of previous hepatitis B infection, and 2.3 percent were hepatitis B surface antigen positive. In multiple logistic regression analysis, a delay in the initial dose of vaccine was associated with increased risk of infection, but the age of the child was not, even though antibodies against hepatitis B surface antigen declined with age. The authors conclude that most infections occurred early and resulted from prenatal infection, initial nonresponse, or a delay in the initial dose of vaccine, not from waning immunity. A booster dose of vaccine, at least up to age 8 years, is not necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carrier State* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B / transmission*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / blood
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines