Nationwide hepatitis B vaccination program in Taiwan: effectiveness in the 20 years after it was launched.

Graduate Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Epidemiologic Reviews (Impact Factor: 9.27). 02/2006; 28:126-35. DOI: 10.1093/epirev/mxj010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The national hepatitis B vaccination program in Taiwan is considered one of the most successful and effective public health programs to control chronic hepatitis B infection in the past 20 years. This review illustrates how to implement a successful hepatitis B vaccination program based on Taiwan's experience. Several important controlled randomized clinical trials on hepatitis B immunoglobulin and vaccine in Taiwan demonstrated an 80-90% protective effect among infants of mothers who were positive for either hepatitis B envelope antigen or hepatitis B surface antigen. A series of prevalence surveys on children born before and after the national vaccination program began disclosed a steady decrease in seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen in Taiwan, with 78-87% effectiveness after the national vaccination program was launched. Studies on the secular trend of liver disease risk also documented a 68% decline in mortality from fulminant hepatitis in infants and a 75% decrease in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in children 6-9 years of age after the national vaccination program began. In conclusion, since 1984, the national hepatitis B vaccination program has been successful in preventing acute and chronic liver diseases in Taiwan.

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