Hepatitis B Vaccine

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A safe, highly effective, licensed vaccine for the prevention of hepatitis B virus infection is available. Hepatitis B is a common and serious disease with an annual incidence in the United States of 200 000 cases. Seventy-five percent of patients with hepatitis B have mild or subclinical disease, 25% develop jaundice, 5% require hospitalization, and 0.1% die of fulminant disease; 6% to 10% of infected patients become chronic carriers. Of the 600 000 to 800 000 carriers in the United States, approximately 25% develop chronic hepatitis and approximately 4000 die of cirrhosis each year. In addition, 1% to 2% of

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