Intradermal Hepatitis B Vaccination in Those Not Responsive to Intra-Muscular Vaccination
Hanna Bauer, Israel Potasman, Neora Pick
Infectious Disease Unit, Bnai Zion Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, The Technion, Haifa
Health care workers are at continuous risk of hepatitis B infection. Currently recommended intramuscular vaccination confers immunity in only 85-90%. We examined the immunogenicity and safety of intradermal vaccination of hepatitis B vaccine in nonresponders. 400 hospital employees who had been immunized as recommended were screened for anti-HBs antibodies and 50 were found seronegative. Each received an intramuscular booster injection and antibody level was measured a month later. Excluded were 33 employees, including 24 late responders, 2 HbsAg carriers and 7 uncooperative employees. 17 employees (mean age 47.1 yrs) then received a series of 3 intradermal injections of Energix B, 0.25 ml in the forearm, 2-3 weeks apart. The mean number of previous intramuscular injections was 4.6±1.4 month later there was a mean titer of 315.4±347.0 miu/ml of antibody in 16/17 workers. Side effects were minimal. Intradermal injection of hepatitis B vaccine for nonresponders seems effective for inducing seroconversion. Its cost-effectiveness for the health care system warrants assessment.