The impact of infant hepatitis immunization on the hepatitis B carrier rate in pregnant women

The long term effect of maternal hepatitis B screening and universal
childhood vaccination on the carrier rate of hepatitis B
in pregnant women was studied in a large Taiwanese study.
Maternal screening and universal childhood vaccination was
introduced in 1984 in Taiwan. Cross-sectional data on maternal
hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis e-antigen
(HBeAg) was compared for the period 1984-1985 and 2016. The
HBsAg rate declined from 13.4 % to 5.9 % and HBeAg positivity
decreased from 6.4 % to 1.0 %. Pregnant women born after July
1986 had the lowest relative risk of being HBsAg positive with
a hazard ratio of 0.27.

Ref; Su et al. J Infect Dis 2019;220:1118-1126

Comment: This study clearly shows that universal childhood
vaccination against hepatitis B has a dramatic effect on the carrier
rate in pregnant women and that global elimination of hepatitis
B is possible with vaccination.