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Vaccine. 1999 Aug 6;17(23-24):2946-50.

Hepatitis B vaccination in infancy in The Gambia: protection against carriage at 9 years of age.

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The Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Fajara, Banjul.


To estimate the efficacy in The Gambia (West Africa) of infant hepatitis B vaccination against infection and carriage with the virus at the age of 9 years. The HBV status of 9-year old children vaccinated in infancy was compared to that of unvaccinated children of the same age. Eight percent of the vaccinated children had been infected by HBV compared to 50% of the unvaccinated control group; HBV carrier status was 0.6 and 10% respectively, resulting in a vaccine efficacy of 83% against infection and of 95% against chronic carriage. The results show that infant vaccination provides a high level of protection at the age of nine years against both HBV infection and chronic carrier status and no booster dose of vaccine is required in the first decade. These findings support the WHO recommendation for the introduction of HBV vaccination into the Expanded Programme on Immunization in Africa.

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