Updated CDC Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations Available and Ready for Implementation
In October 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved new hepatitis B vaccination recommendations for both adults and children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved the recommendations for adults 19 years and older and children and adolescents which were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) earlier this year.
Chronic HBV infection can lead to serious liver disease, liver cancer, and liver-related death. Vaccination is the best approach to preventing HBV infection. According to the CDC, there were an estimated 21,900 new HBV infections in the United States in 2015, an increase of more than 20% compared to the prior year. Studies have shown that adults at risk have low rates of HBV vaccination ranging from 25% - 44%. Adults who have chronic liver disease are at much higher risk of adverse outcomes if exposed to HBV.
For adults 19 years and older, the new recommendations include an update to the list of chronic liver disease conditions for which HBV vaccination is recommended:
Adults with chronic liver disease that includes, but not limited to, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) lever greater than twice the upper limit of normal (ULN) should all receive HBV vaccination.
Each year, approximately 1,000 infants are born infected with HBV; 25% of these infants will die from liver-related disease later in life.
For children and adolescents, the new guidelines strengthen the recommendation that the birth dose of the HBV vaccine be administered to infants within 24 hours of birth. This is a change from previous recommendations that were more flexible, allowing for vaccination at birth or at first pediatric visit, often 2 or more weeks after birth. However, delaying vaccination leaves infants at risk for a longer period of time. Additionally, providing the vaccine as soon as possible after birth can provide some protection for infants whose mothers had undiagnosed HBV at the time of delivery.
These updated recommendations strengthen our national response to viral hepatitis and contribute to implementing strategies identified in the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017 – 2020. Learn more about the ACIP immunization schedules for adults and children/adolescents, or use this locator to find a vaccine provider.
Updated @CDCgov recommendations for adult and childhood #HepB vaccination approved now available. Get the details: https://go.usa.gov/xRd42