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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-66

Hepatitis-B vaccine introduction into the routine immunization schedule--Andhra Pradesh experience.

CVP, PATH, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
V Kiran
CVP, PATH, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15709587

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Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver and is serious global public health problem with a high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, diseases that kill about one million persons each year globally. Globally, of the 2 billion people who have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), more than 350 million have chronic (lifelong) infections. It is preventable with safe and effective vaccines that have been available since 1982. Although the vaccine will not cure chronic hepatitis, it is 95% effective in preventing chronic infections from developing, and is the first vaccine against a major human cancer. More than 160 countries have already added this vaccine to their routine immunization programmes. Available epidemiologic studies in India and AP indicate that India is in intermediate endemic status (with a prevalence of 2 to 7%) and the best way to reduce the prevalence as per the strategies outlined by WHO is to introduce Hep-B vaccine into routine immunization. AP is the first State in India to introduce Hep-B vaccine in the routine immunization in a phased manner. In-spite of the initial apprehensions and slow take up, the program is proven to be successful and Govt. of India has made budgetary provisions in the 10th plan for introduction in rest of India.

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