CDC/ACIP [to 9 Mar 2019]
MMWR News Synopsis for March 8, 2019
Progress toward Hepatitis B Control and Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus — Western Pacific Region, 2005–2017
Hepatitis B vaccination significantly reduced hepatitis B infections among children in the Western Pacific Region, from 8 percent (considered a high endemicity rate) to less than 1 percent (considered a low endemicity rate). Hepatitis B (HepB), a vaccine preventable disease, is a major cause of liver cancer. After all countries/areas in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) introduced the HepB vaccine into childhood immunization schedules, childhood infections dropped from a high of more than 8 percent in 1990 to less than 1 percent by 2017. These remarkable immunization achievements prevented more than 37 million chronic infections and 7 million HepB-related deaths. Further HepB control includes improving HepB birth-dose coverage through increased health facility births, antenatal training, and outside-the-cold-chain use. In addition to maintaining high vaccine coverage, additional interventions like routine antenatal testing, administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin to exposed newborns, and antiviral treatment of mothers would be needed to achieve elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HepB by 2030.