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The Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program is a tracking and reminder program for infants and household contacts of pregnant women who have hepatitis B (HBsAg-positive).

The main goal of the PHBPP is to reduce the incidence of hepatitis B in infants born to women with hepatitis B.

  1. First, HBsAg-positive pregnant women must be identified:
    • All women should be screened for hepatitis B (HBsAg) during each pregnancy.
    • Women who test negative for HBsAg early in their pregnancy but who are at increased risk for hepatitis B should be screened again at the time of delivery.
  1. All HBsAg-positive pregnant women should be reported to the health department during their pregnancy and at the time of their delivery.

  2. A follow-up system is in place to help assure that infants born to HBsAg-positive women receive appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis.

  3. Additionally, all household and sexual contacts of pregnant women with hepatitis B should be identified, and
    • Susceptible contacts should receive the 3-dose series of hepatitis B vaccine.
    • Any contacts with a recent exposure may also need hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG), if a substantial exposure to a HBsAg-positive woman has occurred within the last 14 days.
  • HBIG and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine given within 12 hours of birth (or at least within 7 days after birth).
  • 2 additional doses of hepatitis B vaccine, given at 1-2 months of age and 6 months of age (dose 3 should not be given before infant is 6 months of age)
  • Infants born to HBsAg-positive women should be screened for HBsAg (to see if they have hepatitis B) and anti-HBs (to see if they have adequate antibody (are protected) against hepatitis B).

  • After the completion of the 3 dose hepatitis B vaccine series follow-up testing or postvaccination serologic testing (PVST) is required at age 9-12 months. PVST should occur 1-2 months after the final dose of hepatitis B vaccine if the dose was delayed or if additional doses were needed.

  • PVST or follow-up testing is critical to determine immunity for these infants. Please refer to this pediatric guide for more help on testing infants, interpreting lab results, and reporting to Public Health — Seattle & King County.
  • Hepatitis B in pregnant women is a legally notifiable condition and should be reported within 3 days to the health department.

  • All pregnant women who are HBsAg-positive should be reported to the health department as early in pregnancy as possible.

  • Reporting of a HBsAg-positive pregnant woman to Public Health-Seattle & King County can be done in the following ways:
    • Call Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology, & Immunization at 206-296-4774
    • Call the 24-hour report line at 206-296-4782, push "3" to report PHBPP information, or
    • Download, complete, and fax the confidential case report form to 206-296-4803.
Protect Your Baby for Life: When a Pregnant Woman Has Hepatitis B

Why should pregnant women be concerned about Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease that can be easily passed to others. It is important for a woman to find out if she has Hepatitis B, so she can get medical care. It is also possible for a pregnant woman with Hepatitis B to pass the virus to her baby at birth. Fortunately, there is a vaccine to prevent babies from getting Hepatitis B.

Download a brochure below available in multiple languages:

  • Call 206-296-4774 for questions.

  • PHBPP materials and manuals can be ordered using any of the above 3 contact numbers.

  • The above contact numbers can also be used to report vaccine doses and test results on infants and household contacts of women enrolled in the program.

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