Alaska's Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program
Alaska's perinatal Hepatitis B program is managed through our immunization Nurse Consultant and is designed to identify, track, educate and continue to further prevent Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection.
Perinatal HBV transmission can be prevented by identifying HBV-infected (i.e., Hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg]-positive) pregnant women and providing Hepatitis B immune globulin and Hepatitis B vaccine to their infants within 12 hours of birth. HBV infection in a pregnant woman poses a serious risk to her infant at birth. Without postexposure immunoprophylaxis, approximately 40% of infants born to HBV-infected mothers in the United States will develop chronic HBV infection, approximately one-fourth of whom will eventually die from chronic liver disease.
National guidelines call for the following:
- Universal screening of pregnant women for HBsAg during each pregnancy
- Case management of HBsAg-positive mothers and their infants
- Provision of immunoprophylaxis for infants born to infected mothers, including Hepatitis B vaccine and Hepatitis B immune globulin
- Routine vaccination of all infants with the Hepatitis B vaccine series, with the first dose administered at birth