The licensing of two inactivated hepatitis A vaccines for persons 2 years or older necessitates development of recommendations for pediatric use, as well as a review of the current indications for immune globulin (IG) in hepatitis A prophylaxis. Both vaccines are immunogenic and protective in children and adults. A single dose of vaccine induced antibody in 88% to 96% of subjects by 2 weeks and 97% to 100% by 1 month, and protected against subsequent hepatitis A virus (HAV) disease occurring 21 days after receipt of the dose in a community with endemic hepatitis A infection. However, completion of the full vaccine schedule is recommended to assure high antibody titers and likely long-term protection. The major pediatric indications for vaccine are: (1) travelers to areas with intermediate to high rates of endemic hepatitis A, (2) children living in defined and circumscribed communities with high endemic rates or periodic outbreaks of HAV infection, and (3) patients with chronic liver disease. Immune globulin is recommended for postexposure prophylaxis, as vaccine has not yet been demonstrated to be protective for this purpose. Except for travelers, recommendations for IG use are not changed from those in the current edition of the Red Book, and include contacts of cases in the home, child care centers, and other selected sites.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics