Antibody Levels and Protection After Hepatitis B Vaccine: Results of a 30-Year Follow-up Study and Response to a Booster Dose.
Background: The duration of protection in children and adults resulting from hepatitis B vaccination is unknown. In 1981, we immunized a cohort of 1578 Alaska Native adults and children from 15 Alaska communities aged ≥6 months using 3 doses of plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine.
Methods: Persons were tested for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) levels 30 years after receiving the primary series. Those with levels <10 mIU/mL received 1 booster dose of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine 2-4 weeks later and were then evaluated on the basis of anti-HBs measurements 30 days after the booster.
Results: Among 243 persons (56%) who responded to the original primary series but received no subsequent doses during the 30-year period, 125 (51%) had an anti-HBs level ≥10 mIU/mL. Among participants with anti-HBs levels <10 mIU/mL who were available for follow-up, 75 of 85 (88%) responded to a booster dose with an anti-HBs level ≥10 mIU/mL at 30 days. Initial anti-HBs level after the primary series was correlated with higher anti-HBs levels at 30 years.
Conclusions: Based on anti-HBs level ≥10 mIU/mL at 30 years and an 88% booster dose response, we estimate that ≥90% of participants had evidence of protection 30 years later. Booster doses are not needed.