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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Oct 19;(4):CD000100.

Vaccines for preventing hepatitis B in health-care workers.

Author information

  • 1Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Liver Clinic, Room 181, 6B Fell Pav, 399 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8. wdchen@uhnres.utoronto.ca



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes acute and chronic liver diseases. Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for health-care workers.


To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of hepatitis B vaccination in health-care workers.


We searched the trial registers of The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group, The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and EMBASE to February 2003.


Randomised trials comparing any dose, injection route, injection site, or schedule of hepatitis B plasma-derived vaccines (PDV) or recombinant vaccines (RV) versus placebo, no intervention, or another hepatitis B vaccine in health-care workers.


Two reviewers extracted the data independently. The reviewers assessed the methodological quality of the trials regarding generation of the allocation sequence, allocation concealment, double blinding, and follow-up. The results were presented as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).


We identified 21 randomised trials, all with one or more methodological weaknesses. Four trials demonstrated that PDV versus placebo significantly decreased hepatitis B events at maximum follow-up (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.73). RV did not differ significantly from PDV in eliciting a protective hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) level in two trials. Both vaccines were well tolerated. Low-dose vaccine (1 or 2 microg) by the intradermal route resulted in significantly more participants without protective anti-HBs level compared with high-dose (10 or 20 microg) by the intramuscular route (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.76). The intradermal route caused significantly more local adverse events, while the intramuscular route caused significantly more systemic adverse events. The gluteal injection produced significantly more participants without protective anti-HBs level than the deltoid injection. The prevalence of anti-HBs seroconversion by rapid vaccination (0, 1, and 2 months) was significantly lower than that by standard vaccination (0, 1, and 6 months). Booster vaccinations with different RV doses (2.5, 5, 10, 20, or 40 microg) produced similar prevalence of anti-HBs seroconversion in three trials assessing participants who did not respond to previous HBV vaccination.


PDV significantly prevents hepatitis B events. RV seems to be able to elicit similar protective anti-HBs levels. The intramuscular route with 20 microg RV was significantly more effective compared with the intradermal route with 2 microg RV as was the standard schedule compared with a rapid schedule and deltoid intramuscular injection compared with the gluteal intramuscular injection. It is unclear if booster vaccination of non-responders offers higher anti-HBs seroconversion and hepatitis B vaccine prevents the infection of hepatitis B mutants in health-care workers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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