Hepatitis B vaccination is effective by subcutaneous route in children with bleeding disorders: a universal data collection database analysis

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Subcutaneous (SQ) vs. intramuscular (IM) vaccination may cause fewer injection site complications in children with bleeding disorders, but little is known about comparative immunogenicity. To compare immunogenicity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination administered SQ or IM to individuals <2 years old with bleeding disorders, we performed a retrospective analysis of HBV surface antibody titres among patients enrolled in the universal data collection database who had received three doses of HBV vaccine solely by one route (SQ or IM). Data reviewed were from an initial visit before 24 months of age, until time of hepatitis antibody titre testing. The SQ and IM study groups did not differ in demographics, haemophilia type or severity or bleeding history. The mean age at the time of HBV surface antibody (anti-HBs) testing was 56.9 ± 20.3 months. Eighty-five of 92 subjects (92.4%) who received vaccine SQ developed a positive antibody titre (>12 IU/L), compared to 101/114 (88.6%) who received IM (P = 0.30). There was no statistically significant difference in distribution of titre values. The average age of the subjects at time of testing was 53 ± 20 months in the SQ group vs. 60 ± 20 months in the IM group (P = 0.02). The average time between the last dose of vaccine and anti-HBs testing was 47.6 ± 18.5 months among SQ vaccinated subjects vs. 51.6 ± 20.5 months in the IM group (P = 0.2). Immunogenicity to hepatitis B vaccination by the SQ and IM routes is similar.

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