Hepatitis B vaccination is the most effective measure to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and its consequences, including cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. In adults, ongoing HBV transmission occurs primarily among unvaccinated persons with behavioral risks for HBV transmission (e.g., heterosexuals with multiple sex partners, injection-drug users [IDUs], and men who have sex with men [MSM]) and among household contacts and sex partners of persons with chronic HBV infection.

This report, the second of a two-part statement from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), provides updated recommendations to increase hepatitis B vaccination of adults at risk for HBV infection. The first part of the ACIP statement, which provided recommendations for immunization of infants, children, and adolescents, was published previously (CDC. A comprehensive immunization strategy to eliminate transmission of hepatitis B virus infection in the United States: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]. Part 1: immunization of infants, children, and adolescents. MMWR 2005;54[No. RR-16]:1--33).

In settings in which a high proportion of adults have risks for HBV infection (e.g., sexually transmitted disease/human immunodeficiency virus testing and treatment facilities, drug-abuse treatment and prevention settings, health-care settings targeting services to IDUs, health-care settings targeting services to MSM, and correctional facilities), ACIP recommends universal hepatitis B vaccination for all unvaccinated adults. In other primary care and specialty medical settings in which adults at risk for HBV infection receive care, health-care providers should inform all patients about the health benefits of vaccination, including risks for HBV infection and persons for whom vaccination is recommended, and vaccinate adults who report risks for HBV infection and any adults requesting protection from HBV infection. To promote vaccination in all settings, health-care providers should implement standing orders to identify adults recommended for hepatitis B vaccination and administer vaccination as part of routine clinical services, not require acknowledgment of an HBV infection risk factor for adults to receive vaccine, and use available reimbursement mechanisms to remove financial barriers to hepatitis B vaccination.

  • Recommendation
  • Americas
  • United States of America
  • Hepatitis B