Herein we present one of the largest single-center reports of the response of hemodialysis patients to a two-vaccine hepatitis B virus vaccination protocol in a European dialysis population. A hepatitis B recombinant DNA vaccine, HBvaxPRO®, was given at a dose of 40 µg intramuscularly using a four-dose schedule at 0, 1, 2, and 12 months.
Responses were (1) a titer >100 mIU/mL = patient immune, (2) a titer level 10-99 mIU/mL = give a booster dose and recheck level 2 months later, and (3) 0 £ 10 mIU/mL = repeat vaccination course using a different vaccine, Engerix-B®. We compared responder groups in terms of titer levels for each vaccine and variables including age, gender, serum albumin, parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, phosphate, hemoglobin, years on dialysis, and type of dialysis access. Of the 176 patients who received the first vaccine course, 71 patients achieved immunity, that is, 40% uptake for the first vaccine. Of the 105 who failed, 72 received the second vaccine with 46 responders, that is, 64% uptake for the second vaccine.
Overall, 143 of the 176 patients who entered the vaccination program completed the protocol with 117 achieving immunity, representing an 82% success rate. The only variable overall to show significance in achieving seroconversion was serum albumin (p = 0.03). Using a two-vaccine protocol, hepatitis B vaccination response was high in our population of end-stage renal disease patients.