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International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Volume 1, Number 4
A Role for Combined Vaccination against Hepatitis A and B?
Christian Fessard, MD; and Jay S. Keystone, MD

Int J Infect Dis 1997; 1(4):226-232.

This report reviews hepatitis A and B immunization recommendations and assesses the potential role of a combined hepatitis vaccine. Although hepatitis A and B are very different diseases, overlap exists in their epidemiologic patterns. Both are most prevalent in developing countries, with areas of low endemicity in industrialized nations. Potential sources of infection common to both hepatitis A and hepatitis B (i.e., international travel, close contact with residents of institutions or young children and infants, male homosexual activity, and drug use) indicate that certain groups may be at increased risk of both diseases. Well-tolerated and immunogenic vaccines are available for both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Although hepatitis B vaccine is now being introduced into universal infant immunization programs in many countries, hepatitis A vaccination is currently recommended for high-risk groups only. This review examines the potential role of a single vaccination against both forms of hepatitis.

Key Words: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, immunization, risk groups, vaccination

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