Hepatitis B At-Birth Dose Vaccine: An Urgent Call for Implementation in Ghana

Vaccines — Open Access Journal
http://www.mdpi.com/journal/vaccines
(Accessed 17 March 2018)

Open Access  Letter
Hepatitis B At-Birth Dose Vaccine: An Urgent Call for Implementation in Ghana
by Yaw Asante Awuku and Mary Yeboah-Afihene
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010015 – 12 March 2018
Abstract
Globally, approximately two billion people are infected with the Hepatitis B virus with attributable death estimated at about half a million people annually across the globe. Chronic hepatitis B infection is also an important public health problem in Ghana. The main mode of transmission in endemic regions is the perinatal route. Mother-to-child transmission can be reduced by antiviral therapy especially in the last trimester and adherence to the national immunization schedule. The World Health Organization recommends to add the birth dose vaccine to the current expanded program on immunization (EPI) in all countries but especially for endemic regions. The evidence for the efficacy of the birth dose HBV vaccine is overwhelming and there is an urgent need for its introduction into the current EPI schedule in Ghana