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Effectiveness and impact of the hepatitis B vaccination program in preadolescents in Catalonia 21 years after its introduction

Borràs, Eva, Urbiztondo, Luis, Carmona, Glòria, Jané, Mireia, Barrabeig, Irene, Rosa Sala, M., Jorgina Balañà, J.P., Company, Maria, Parrón, Ignasi, Godoy, Pere, Rius, Cristina, Soldevila, Núria, Cabezas, Carmen, Domínguez, Àngela
Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.9 pp. 1137-1141
at-risk population, cohort studies, disease incidence, hepatitis B, monitoring, people, public health, vaccination, vaccines
Hepatitis B is a viral disease of global importance. In Catalonia in the 1980s, the seroepidemiological pattern of HBV infection was low-intermediate. In 1990, the Expert Committee on Vaccinations of the Department of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia evaluated the systematic introduction of hepatitis B vaccination in preadolescents, maintaining the vaccination of risk groups. The objective of this study was to estimate the effectiveness and impact of the systematic hepatitis B vaccination programme in preadolescents in Catalonia 21 years after its introduction. A retrospective cohort study was conducted, comparing the disease incidence in vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts. Cases of hepatitis B were defined as those reported by the General Subdirectorate of Surveillance and Response to Public Health Emergencies between 2000 and 2014. The incidence rate was 2.5 per 100,000 persons in 1991 and 1.2 per 100,000 persons in 2014, a reduction of 52%. During the study period, 388 cases of hepatitis B infection were notified, of which three were classified as vaccine failures. Vaccine effectiveness was 99.30% (95% CI: 97.83–99.78) and the population prevented fraction in the cohorts of preadolescents studied was 64.56% (95% CI: 60.45–68.66). The effectiveness and impact of the hepatitis B vaccination program in preadolescents in Catalonia is high, with the consequent benefits for the population.