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Stepped-up vaccine series for hepatitis B is effective during pregnancy
Date:6/27/2011

lack of physician and patient education, patients' fear of vaccination and its purported side effects, and the overall reluctance to vaccinate pregnant women.

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports pregnancy is not a contraindication to hepatitis B vaccine, limited data were available on its use in pregnancy.

In the current study, conducted at Parkland Memorial Hospital, researchers enrolled high-risk women with a current diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease, injection drug use or both, over a six-year period. Of 200 women enrolled, 168 received all three doses of the vaccine.

Researchers found that race, maternal age, tobacco and alcohol use, and gestational age at first vaccination did not affect seroconversion rates the development of antibodies against hepatitis B using the accelerated schedule. Obesity had a negative influence, however.

The accelerated schedule in pregnancy had seroconversion rates (90 percent) that were comparable to the standard schedule in healthy adults. The study also showed no increase in preterm delivery rates or neonatal intensive care admissions.

"The vaccine was well-tolerated in our pregnant women, and no serious adverse events were reported," Dr. Sheffield said. "Initial concerns about the ability of a pregnant woman to mount an effective immune response to a vaccine are largely unfounded. It's doable."


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Contact: Robin Russell
robin.russel@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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