PDPH Advisory – Universal Recommendations for Hepatitis B Vaccination

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health released a health advisory on July 21:

Summary Points: 

  • All adults aged 19-59 years are recommended to receive the Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine.
  • Risk factor disclosure/screening is no longer needed to determine vaccine eligibility among adults in the 19-59 age group.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has modified its recommendations for hepatitis B vaccination. The ACIP now recommends all adults aged 19-59 years receive hepatitis B vaccines.

With this change, the following groups should now receive hepatitis B vaccination:

  • All infants
  • Unvaccinated children aged <19
  • Adults 19-59
  • Adults aged 60 and older with risk factors for hepatitis B
  • Adults aged 60 and older without known risk factors may also be vaccinated.
    • Risk factors include sexual exposures, people at risk by percutaneous or mucosal exposure, and others. A complete list can be found here.

Persons who have completed a hepatitis B vaccination series are not required to repeat the series. Receiving extra doses of the hepatitis B vaccine is not harmful, so if it is not possible to confirm previous receipt of the vaccine, it is appropriate to give the series. If a hepatitis B vaccine series was started but not completed, there is no need to restart the series. The next dose should be given as soon as possible.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) expanded recommendation for hepatitis B vaccination aims to increase vaccination coverage and decrease hepatitis B cases. Increased vaccination coverage may result in more individuals receiving vaccination before the onset of chronic liver disease or other comorbidities (such as obesity and diabetes) that might make vaccination less effective.


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