The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article, Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The article updates and summarizes previously published recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC regarding the prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the United States. These recommendations provide CDC guidance for postexposure prophylaxis following occupational and other exposures. This report also summarizes previously published American Association for the Study of Liver Disease guidelines for maternal antiviral therapy to reduce perinatal HBV transmission.
Major changes in the recommendations are:
- universal HBV vaccination within 24 hours of birth for medically stable infants weighing ≥2,000 grams;
- testing HBsAg-positive pregnant women for hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid (HBV DNA);
- postvaccination serologic testing for infants whose mother’s HBsAg status remains unknown indefinitely (e.g., when a parent or person with lawful custody surrenders an infant confidentially shortly after birth);
- single-dose revaccination for infants born to HBsAg positive women not responding to the initial vaccine series;
- vaccination for persons with chronic liver disease (including, but not limited to, those with hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and an alanine aminotransferase [ALT] or aspartate aminotransferase [AST] level greater than twice the upper limit of normal); and;
- removal of permissive language for delaying the birth dose until after hospital discharge.
View the article and use the updated recommendations in your work, as appropriate, to prevent viral hepatitis infections.