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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jan 1;187(1):134-8. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Long-term immunogenicity and efficacy of universal hepatitis B virus vaccination in Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University, College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.


The long-term immunogenicity of universal hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine is seldom studied in large-scale prospective community-based populations, especially in adolescents. This study enrolled 1200 children aged 7 years with complete HBV immunization in infancy and determined HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), its antibody (anti-HBs), and HBV core antibody (anti-HBc) annually until the children were aged 14 years. Eleven children had new HBV infections with anti-HBc positivity as the only marker. None became positive for HBsAg or had detectable HBV DNA by polymerase chain reaction. The percentage of protective anti-HBs in 951 children without booster vaccination gradually decreased from 71.1% at age 7 years to 37.4% at age 12 years. Only 1 of the 200 children in the booster group and 2 of the 258 children in the nonbooster group developed new anti-HBc positivity. The results suggest that routine booster vaccination may not be required to provide protection against chronic HBV infection before age 15 years.

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