The Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) was established by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH), in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to address the issue of perinatal Hepatitis B transmission in the District of Columbia. According to the 2013 CDC Peritable Point estimate, the District of Columbia can expect between 39 to 69 infants born to mothers infected with Hepatitis B in 2016. With the goal of preventing perinatal transmission, DOH is focusing efforts on identifying women with Hepatitis B in the prenatal period and at the birthing hospital during delivery to ensure adequate follow-up for infants exposed to Hepatitis B.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the first Hepatitis B dose is administered at the birthing facility, ideally within 12 hours of birth. This practice lowers the risk of infection for those infants born to infected mothers who were not properly screened or whose positive status is not known at the time of birth. In 2015, 82% of infants born at a District birthing hospital received a Hepatitis B vaccine prior to discharge. Pediatricians can play a vital role in preventing the spread of Hepatitis B by promoting the Hepatitis B birth dose among prospective patients and ensuring timely Hepatitis B series completion. For those infants born to Hepatitis B positive mothers, pediatricians should order post-vaccine serology testing (PVST) at age 9-12 months (or 1-2 months after the final dose of the vaccine series, if the series is delayed). PVST should include Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and Hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb).
Reporting of perinatal Hepatitis B cases in the District has been established and should be directed to the DC Immunization Program. To report online or to access the perinatal Hepatitis B report form, visit the newly developed Perinatal Hepatitis B page http://doh.dc.gov/page/PerinatalHepB. Reporting can also be made through the Perinatal Hepatitis B Nurse Consultant, Donna Sheler, RN at 202-576-9325 or by email at email@example.com.
For the more information on Perinatal Hepatitis B prevention and management, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/PerinatalXmtn.htm and http://www.immunize.org/protect-newborns/webinar/slides-iac.pdf.