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Uptake of perinatal immunoprophylaxis for infants born to women with a record of hepatitis B in Victoria (2009–2017)


  • Deng, Hui Min-Anna
  • Romero, Nicole
  • Allard, Nicole
  • Rowe, Stacey
  • Yussf, Nafisa
  • Cowie, Benjamin


Vaccine, Volume 41, Issue 10, 2023-03-03

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Background Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains one of the leading causes of transmission worldwide. An estimated 90 % of infants who are exposed to HBV and do not receive appropriate post exposure immunoprophylaxis will go on to develop chronic hepatitis B (CHB). In Australia, universal birth dose vaccination was adopted in 2000 and universal antenatal screening for hepatitis B was introduced in the 1990 s, however up to 10 % of women may have missed screening. There is no coordinated care or data collection that systematically reports the access to interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) for women with CHB. Therefore, the incidence rate of MTCT is unknown. Methods We conducted retrospective data linkage of perinatal records, public health notification and hospital admission data to identify women with a record of HBV infection who had given birth to a live infant(s) in Victoria between 2009 and 2017. We assessed uptake of birth dose vaccination and hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and explored factors associated with administration of birth dose recorded as administered within 7 days. Results Among 690,052 live births, 6118 births (0.90 %) were linked to 4196 women with a record of HBV infection. 89.4 % of all Victorian infants (n = 616,879), and 96.8 % of infants linked to women with a positive record of CHB (n = 5,925) received birth dose within 7 days. Infants born in private hospitals had reduced odds of receiving birth dose when compared to public hospitals births (Victorian population, aOR = 0.67, 95 %CI = 0.66, 0.69; CHB linked records aOR = 0.17, 95 %CI = 0.11, 0.25). Of the 6118 infants linked to a positive maternal record of CHB, discrepant recording of maternal CHB status between the three datasets was identified in 72.4% of records and HBIG administration was recorded for only 2.3% of births. Conclusion An approach that involves coordinated care and integrates data collection for women with CHB and their infants is required to support the elimination of MTCT of hepatitis B in Victoria.