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Ann Intern Med. 1988 Feb;108(2):185-9.

Duration of immunity after hepatitis B vaccination: efficacy of low-dose booster vaccine.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.


Although the efficacy of hepatitis vaccine is well documented, the duration of immunity of healthy adults after vaccination is unknown. We studied 245 hospital employees 3 years after primary vaccination with hepatitis B vaccine to determine the prevalence of immunity indicated by levels of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen of 10 mIU/mL or greater; and to compare the immunogenicity of low-dose intradermal vaccine with standard-dose intramuscular vaccine in persons found to be seronegative. Thirty-eight percent of employees studied had antibody levels less than 10 mIU/mL. Low levels were associated with smoking, older age, and higher body-mass index. Seventy-eight percent of persons with low antibody levels responded to a single booster vaccine. Two micrograms of intradermal vaccine was as effective as 20 micrograms of intramuscular vaccine in inducing an antibody response; however, intradermal vaccine was associated with more local reactions (42% compared with 17%). Many healthy adults will need periodic boosters of hepatitis B vaccine to maintain production of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen; low-dose intradermal booster schedules may be feasible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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