Georgia's Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program
To ensure all infants born to hepatitis B infected (HBsAg-positive) women are given the opportunity to live free of hepatitis B disease.
Our vision is to eliminate perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission in Georgia residents.
Infants born to HBsAg-positive women are exposed to the virus through contact with the motherís blood during delivery. Infants who do not receive vaccination can become infected with the hepatitis B virus. Infected infants have a 90% chance of developing chronic (life-long) infection. They are also more likely to die prematurely from end-stage liver disease (cirrhosis or cancer of the liver). Immunizing babies born to HBsAg-positive women with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and the hepatitis B vaccine series can prevent this tragic outcome.
The purpose of Georgiaís Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program is to ensure that babies born to hepatitis B positive women are given the opportunity to live their lives free of hepatitis B disease. Screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) is part of routine prenatal care. Identification occurs through reporting positive HBsAg results from the laboratory and/or physician to the state or local health department. To prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B, health district case managers and staff follow HBsAg-positive pregnant women during gestation and track their infants until the post-vaccination serologic testing is completed. Infants born to HBsAg-positive women should be administered HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth, followed by hepatitis B vaccine at 1-2 months and 6 months of age. The hepatitis B vaccine given within 12 hours of birth is up to 85% effective at preventing the disease.
When HBIG is added, the protection rate is 95%. Vaccination of sexual and household contacts of HBsAg positive pregnant women also prevents transmission to susceptible individuals who are at high risk for the disease.
The Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program is funded through the CDCís National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, Immunization Services Division, with technical support from CDCís National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Since 1991, every state has received federal funding to support the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program.