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Reuters Health Information (2006-11-16): Hepatitis A immunization works well with other pediatric vaccines


Hepatitis A immunization works well with other pediatric vaccines

Last Updated: 2006-11-16 14:48:42 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hepatitis A vaccine is safe and effective when given along with other pediatric vaccines to healthy one-year-olds, according to a report in the October issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

"The safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of this vaccine offer a great opportunity for limiting the spread of hepatitis A from asymptomatic young infants and children to other children and adults," Dr. Fernando A. Guerra from San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Texas told Reuters Health.

Dr. Guerra and colleagues studied 617 children to investigate whether hepatitis A vaccine was safe and effective and whether it could be administered concomitantly with other routinely administered pediatric vaccines.

After the first dose of hepatitis A vaccine, seropositivity rates were 95.8% when administered alone and 95.5% when given with measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and varicella vaccine, the results indicate.

Seropositivity rates after the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine were 100%, regardless of whether it was administered alone or with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and optional poliovirus vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or varicella vaccine, the researchers note.

Only two serious clinical adverse events -- both febrile seizures -- were considered possibly vaccine-related, the authors report.

The researchers conclude that the findings "support the administration of hepatitis A vaccine as early as 12 months of age, regardless of initial hepatitis A serostatus."

As such vaccination is incorporated into the childhood schedule, Dr. Guerra added, "this is a disease that potentially can come close to being eliminated over time."

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25:912-919.

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