A significantly diminished antibody response to hepatitis B vaccine has been demonstrated in adults when the buttock is used as the injection site. However, in Brazil, the buttock continues to be recommended as site of injection for intramuscular administration of vaccines in infants. In this age group, there are no controlled studies evaluating the immunogenicity of the hepatitis B vaccine when administered at this site. In the present study, 258 infants were randomized to receive the hepatitis B vaccine either in the buttock (n = 123) or in the anterolateral thigh muscle (n = 135). The immunization schedule consisted of three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix B<FONT FACE="Symbol">â</FONT>, 10 mug) at 2, 4 and 9 months of age. There were no significant differences in the proportion of seroconversion (99.3% x 99.2%), or in the geometric mean titer of ELISA anti-HBs (1,862.1 x 1,229.0 mIU/mL) between the two groups. This study demonstrates that a satisfactory serological response can be obtained when the hepatitis B vaccine is administered intramuscularly into the buttock.
Hepatitis B; Vaccine efficacy; Injection; Intramuscular; Gluteal injection; Infant