Near elimination of hepatitis B virus infections among Hawaii elementary school children after universal infant hepatitis B vaccination.Pediatrics. 2006 Oct; 118(4):1403-8.Ped
Hawaii implemented routine infant hepatitis B vaccination in 1992 and required it for school entry in 1997. Previously, in 1989, a serologic survey among Hawaii school children in grades 1 to 3 indicated that 1.6% had chronic hepatitis B virus infection, and 2.1% had resolved infection. We conducted a follow-up survey to examine changes in hepatitis B virus infection rates.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
This study was performed in Oahu, Hawaii, during the 2001-2002 school year among children in grades 2 and 3. Consenting parents/guardians provided demographic information including place of birth. Participants were tested for serologic evidence of hepatitis B virus infection and their vaccination status was determined by reviewing school records. Rates of symptomatic acute hepatitis B among persons aged < or = 19 years were calculated from cases reported from Hawaii to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1990 and 2004.
Completed hepatitis B vaccination series were documented for 83% of the 2469 participants by age 18 months and for 97% by age 5 years. Past or present hepatitis B virus infection was detected among 6 participants (0.24%), including 1 (0.04%) with chronic infection and 5 (0.20%) with resolved infections. Compared with the 1989 survey, these prevalences represent declines of 97% and 90% in chronic and resolved hepatitis B virus infections, respectively. The incidence of symptomatic acute hepatitis B in Hawaii children and adolescents aged < or = 19 years decreased from 4.5 cases per 100,000 in 1990 to 0.0 during 2002-2004. To date, the last reported case in a child aged < 15 years in Hawaii occurred in 1996.
Hepatitis B virus infection has nearly been eliminated in Hawaii children born after universal infant hepatitis B vaccination was implemented. These findings suggest that hepatitis B prevention goals are being met through routine immunization and related prevention programs among US children.