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Lancet. 1981 Feb 28;1(8218):455-9.

Randomised placebo-controlled trial of hepatitis B surface antigen vaccine in French haemodialysis units: I, Medical staff.


A vaccine against hepatitis B surface antigen (Institut Pasteur Production) was assessed in staff members from forty-eight French haemodialysis units where the risk of hepatitis B was high. Of 318 subjects who completed the protocol, 164 received three monthly injections of vaccine and 154 received corresponding injections of placebo. Hepatitis B infection was observed in 3.6% of the vaccine group and 12.3% of the placebo group (p less than 0.005). The 6 infections in the vaccine group all arose within 63 days from the first injections, whereas the 19 in the placebo group arose throughout the 12 months of follow-up. The rate of side-effects after injection did not differ in the two groups. 94% of the vaccine recipients had an immune response ( greater than 10 mIU/ml in at least 5 successive specimens). 4 months after the first injection the mean + or - 2 SE peak level of anti-HBs was 2433 + or - 1077 mIU/ml.

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