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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004 Sep 11;148(37):1816-8.

[Protection of children born to hepatitis-B-infected mothers].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, Laboratorium voor Toetsing van het Rijksvaccinatieprogramma, Postbus 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven.


The vaccination schedule implemented on 1 March 2003 for the approximately 1000 Dutch children per year born to hepatitis-B-virus-infected mothers is under discussion. The Health Council of The Netherlands and TNO have both published reports which reveal that the current schedule does not fulfil its objectives, as too many children are completely missed and many of the vaccinated children do not receive their scheduled vaccinations on time. Furthermore, doubts have been expressed about the effectiveness of the present vaccination schedule. In line with one of the schedules proposed by the Health Council we suggest the introduction of a 4-dose vaccination, in which the first vaccination is given immediately after the birth of the child. The subsequent vaccinations can then take place after 2, 4 and 11 months. These are the ages at which other children are also vaccinated against hepatitis B in accordance with the Dutch national vaccination programme. Furthermore, we advise an improved surveillance to ensure compliance with the individual vaccination schedules for these children. If data from the hepatitis-B screening of pregnant women, the regional vaccination registers, and the vaccinations actually administered are linked, then it will be possible to take swift action if a child is late for a hepatitis-B vaccination. In our opinion, this can best be achieved if a single national organisation is made responsible for the entire process, starting from the collection of the hepatitis-B data of pregnant women up to concluding the scheme, whether or not the serologic response is checked.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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