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J Infect Dis. 2009 Nov 1;200(9):1390-6. doi: 10.1086/606119.

Antibody levels and protection after hepatitis B vaccine: results of a 22-year follow-up study and response to a booster dose.

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Liver Disease and Hepatitis Program, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.



The duration of protection in children and adults (including health care workers) resulting from the hepatitis B vaccine primary series is unknown.


To determine the protection afforded by hepatitis B vaccine, Alaska Native persons who had received plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine when they were >6 months of age were tested for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) 22 years later. Those with levels <10 mIU/mL received 1 dose of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and were evaluated on the basis of anti-HBs measurements at 10-14 days, 30-60 days, and 1 year.


Of 493 participants, 60% (298) had an anti-HBs level >or=10 mIU/mL. A booster dose was administered to 164 persons, and 77% responded with an anti-HBs level >or=10 mIU/mL at 10-14 days, reaching 81% by 60 days. Response to a booster dose was positively correlated with younger age, peak anti-HBs response after primary vaccination, and the presence of detectable anti-HBs before boosting. Considering persons with an anti-HBs level >or=10 mIU/mL at 22 years and those who responded to the booster dose, protection was demonstrated in 87% of the participants. No new acute or chronic hepatitis B virus infections were identified.


The protection afforded by primary immunization with plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine during childhood and adulthood lasts at least 22 years. Booster doses are not needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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