Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
FERREIRA, Cristina Targa and SILVEIRA, Themis Reverbel da. Viral hepatitis prevention by immunization. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2006, vol.82, n.3, suppl., pp. s55-s66. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572006000400007.
OBJECTIVE: To present an updated review and criticism of viral hepatitis A and B prevention by immunization. SOURCES OF DATA: Review of medical articles obtained from the MEDLINE database. The most recent and representative articles on the subject (2000-2006) were selected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Brazilian Society of Pediatrics and Brazilian Ministry of Health websites were also researched. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: Viral hepatitis prevention is an enormous challenge to the public health systems of countries and the medical and scientific communities. Hepatitis viruses produce important morbidity and mortality in the world, causing acute and chronic hepatic disease. There are highly efficient vaccines available on the market to prevent new infections by the A and B viruses. However, A and B viruses continue to be among the most commonly notified diseases preventable by vaccines. In this article, we discuss the vaccines used to prevent these infections, with the aim of expanding knowledge and the practice of prevention of these infectious diseases. CONCLUSIONS: Although the vaccines against A and B hepatitis are recommended for various risk groups, estimated vaccine coverage is still modest and many vaccination opportunities are lost. In order to reduce the incidence of A and B hepatitis, which are preventable by vaccines, it is necessary for physicians to encourage their patients to be vaccinated.
Keywords : Hepatitis A; hepatitis B; vaccines; immunization.