The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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A Two-Dose Hepatitis B Vaccine for Adults (Heplisav-B)

The FDA has approved a two-dose hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine (Heplisav-B – Dynavax) for use in adults ≥18 years old. The three other HBV vaccines marketed in the US are usually administered in 3 doses. Engerix-B and Recombivax HB are licensed for use in persons of all ages. A combination hepatitis A/B vaccine (Twinrix) contains the same hepatitis B component as Engerix-B and is licensed for use only in adults.1

HEPATITIS B VIRUS INFECTION — HBV infection is transmitted through percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood or other bodily fluids. Risk factors for acquisition in adults include occupational exposure, IV drug abuse, unprotected sex, and hemodialysis. Chronic HBV infection can cause cirrhosis and hepatic cancer. Universal childhood vaccination against HBV, introduced in the US in 1991, has significantly ... more      

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