MORE EFFECTIVE HEPATITIS B VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR ADULTS
Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccination is the primary means of preventing infections and complications caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) among healthcare workers (HCW’s) in the United States. On February 21, 2018, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a division of CDC, recommended Heplisav-B (HepB-CpG), a yeast-derived vaccine prepared with a novel adjuvant.
Hepatitis B Virus
HepB-CpG is available in single-dose 0.5 mL vials. Each dose contains 20 μg of HBsAg and 3,000 μg of 1018 adjuvant. HepB-CpG is formulated without preservatives and is administered as an intramuscular injection in the deltoid region of the upper arm.
In contrast to most traditional hepatitis B vaccines (e.g., Engerix-B – GSK, Recombivax – Merck), Hepislav-B is administered as a 2-dose series administered 1 month apart in persons aged ≥18 years. This new abbreviated schedule facilitates compliance and completion of the series among adult HCW’s in outpatient settings. Above and beyond ease of completing the series is Hepislav-B’s effectiveness in generating immunity. ACIP conducted a systematic review of the evidence in adults and published the following:
Seroprotective antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) levels were achieved in 90.0%–100.0% of subjects receiving HepB-CpG (Dynavax Technologies Corporation), compared with 70.5%–90.2% of subjects receiving Engerix-B .
Although the cost of 2 doses of Hepislav-B is similar to traditional 3 dose regimens, the often unrecognized costs and liability of employee travel for vaccination make it an attractive new alternative.
All tolled, the benefits of protection with only 2 doses administered over 1 month make HepB-CpG an important option for prevention of HBV and achieving compliance in your practice.