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In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) dated April 1, 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated guidelines on hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination. The MMWR calls for universal HBV immunization for ALL adults aged 19–59 and adults aged 60 years and older with risk factors for HBV. CDC already recommends that infants and persons younger than 19 receive HBV three-shot vaccine. Additionally, the new recommendations are intended to prompt all providers to offer HBV vaccination to patients aged ≥60 years, rather than wait for a patient to request vaccination, thus shifting the responsibility of initiating the consideration of HBV vaccination from the patient to the provider.
HBV vaccination has demonstrated well-established safety and efficacy. However, prior to the MMWR update, HBV vaccination of the general public has followed a risk factor-based approach, which has limited HBV vaccination rates. The CDC hopes that universal adult HBV vaccination through age 59 years, and removing the need for risk factor screening and disclosure, will increase vaccination coverage and decrease HBV cases.
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