Vaccination against hepatitis B in a general hospital in Israel: Antibody level before vaccination and immunogenicity of vaccine

J. Karpuch*, E. Scapa, J. Eshchar, M. Waron, S. Bar-Shany, T. Shwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We offered hepatitis B vaccine (Heptavax B) to 809 of the health care personnel of a 650-bed regional hospital; 290 accepted the offer. Anti-HBs measurement was done by enzyme immunoassay (AUSAB EIA, Abbott, UK) and expressed in mIU/ml. Seroconversion was determined at a level of 2.1 mIU/ml. Of 290 employees 58 (20%) were found positive for hepatitis B antibodies before vaccination. Of the laboratory technicians, 40.9% were found positive for antibodies before vaccination, as were 26.5% of nurses and 10.9% of physicians. Among vaccine recipients 35.8% responded after the first dose, 86.6% after the second and 92.7% after the third. Seventeen workers (7.3%) were nonresponders, of whom 14 received the whole vaccine series. There was no difference in immune responses to the vaccine between men and women. The present study confirms the relatively high prevalence of HBV infection in health care workers. Furthermore, vaccination of employees has been highly effective and well tolerated. The present data, therefore, support the introduction of active vaccination against HBV in health care workers in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Volume29
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hospital personnel
  • Vaccination

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