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Vaccine. 2008 Nov 18;26(49):6266-73. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.09.056. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

The global impact of vaccination against hepatitis B: a historical overview.

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Department of Public Health-Microbiology-Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan, Via C. Pascal 36, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a world wide public health problem of major concern. HBV infection may lead to chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Vaccination is the most effective measure to control and prevent hepatitis B and its long-term serious sequelae on global scale, both in terms of cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost ratios. According to the WHO recommendations, universal vaccination has been currently implemented in 168 countries world wide with an outstanding record of safety and efficacy. The effective implementation of such programmes of vaccination has resulted in a substantial decrease in disease burden, in the carrier rate and in hepatitis B-related morbidity and mortality. A future challenge is to overcome the social and economic hurdles which still hamper the introduction of hepatitis B vaccination on a global scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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