Objective: To review the implementation of mass vaccination of hepatitis B vaccine and its critical role in prevention of hepatitis B virus infection in China.

Data sources: The data were mainly from PubMed, China Hospital Knowledge Database, and other popular Chinese journals published from 1980 to 2008. The search term was "hepatitis B vaccine".

Study selection: Original studies conducted in China and critical reviews authored by principal investigators in the field of hepatology in China were selected.

Results: Chinese investigators started to develop hepatitis B vaccine in late 1970s. The first home-made plasma-derived vaccine became available in 1986, which has been completely replaced by the domestically produced recombinant (yeast or Chinese hamster ovary cell) vaccine since 2001. China health authority recommended vaccinating all infants in 1992. From then on, China has put tremendous efforts in implementation of mass vaccination. The overall coverage of hepatitis B vaccine in infants has increased steadily and reached more than 95.0% in urban and 83.0%-97.0% in rural areas. The chronic HBV carrier rate in children <10 years of age decreased from 10.0% before the mass vaccination to 1.0%-2.0% in 2006, and that in general population decreased from 10.0% to 7.2%; overall, the nationwide mass hepatitis B vaccination has reduced more than 30 million of chronic HBV infections and HBV related severe sequlae.

Conclusion: The Chinese successful experience in control of hepatitis B by mass vaccination offers an example for any unindustrialized country whoever is committed to control this disease.

Chinese Medical Journal, volume 122, Issue 1, pp 98-102

Western Pacific China Hepatitis B