• Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections present an important health problem causing significant morbidity and mortality on a worldwide scale. 
  • Disease spectrum
  • Universal vaccination of newborn infants is the most effective means of preventing HBV infection, especially for those born to HBV carrier mothers. 
  • Hepatitis B vaccine has proven highly immunogenic and cost-effective in decreasing the risk of premature deaths due to HBV-related liver cancer or cirrhosis. 
  • Vaccination against HBV within 24 hours after birth prevents neonatal infection by vertical transmission from HBV carrier mothers. 
  • Hepatitis B vaccine is generally given as a series of three intramuscular doses. 
  • The most frequently used schedule has a 1-month interval between the first and the second dose and a 6-month interval between the first and the third dose. 
  • Due to long-term immunity induced by hepatitis B vaccines, current data do not support the need for booster doses in universal hepatitis B immunization programs.