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JAMA. 2001 Dec 19;286(23):2968-73.

Control of hepatitis A through routine vaccination of children.

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National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



The impact of routine hepatitis A vaccination of children living in large communities with elevated disease rates has not been evaluated.


To determine the effect of routine vaccination of children on disease incidence in a community with recurrent hepatitis A epidemics.


Community-based demonstration project conducted from January 12, 1995, through December 31, 2000, in Butte County, California, among children aged 2 to 17 years.


In 1995, vaccination was offered to children aged 2 to 12 years during vaccination clinics conducted on 2 occasions 6 to 12 months apart at most schools in the county. In 1996-2000, vaccine was distributed to community health care clinicians, who vaccinated eligible children without charge. Vaccine was also available at health department clinics, selected child care centers, and other sites.


Hepatitis A vaccination coverage, hepatitis A incidence, and vaccine effectiveness.


During the study period, 29 789 (66.2%) of an estimated 44 982 eligible children received at least 1 vaccine dose; 17 681 (39.3%) received a second dose. The number of hepatitis A cases among the entire county population declined 93.5% during the study period, from 57 cases in 1995 to 4 in 2000, the lowest number of cases reported in the county since hepatitis A surveillance began in 1966. The 2000 incidence rate of 1.9 per 100 000 population was the lowest of any county in the state. Of the 245 cases reported during the 6-year period, 40 (16.3%) occurred among children 17 years of age or younger, of which 16 (40%) occurred in 1995 and only 1 in 2000. One of the 27 case patients eligible for vaccination had been vaccinated, having received the first dose 3 days before symptom onset. The estimated protective vaccine efficacy was 98% (95% confidence interval, 86%-100%).


In this population, hepatitis A vaccine was highly effective in preventing disease among recipients. Childhood vaccination appears to have decreased hepatitis A incidence among children and adults and controlled the disease in a community with recurrent epidemics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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