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Prevent Perinatal Hepatitis during COVID19

Tuesday, April 14, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jill York
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 Interim guidance to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus during COVID-19-related disruptions in routine preventive services 


This guidance is being provided to ensure that certain safety nets are in place to prevent mother-to-child hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission in the event of significant COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions in routine preventive services before, during, and after labor and delivery. The guidance is intended to be used by obstetric and pediatric care staff for consideration while prioritizing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HBV infection (see 


Prenatal care of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive women 

Ensure that HBsAg-positive pregnant women are able to advocate for the proper care of their HBV-exposed infants in case labor and delivery occurs at an unplanned facility or is attended by staff that are not knowledgeable about managing HBV-exposed infants: 

• Educate HBsAg-positive women on their HBsAg status and the importance of proper preventive care for their infant, including hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and single antigen hepatitis B vaccine at birth, hepatitis B vaccine series completion at six months of age, and post-vaccination serologic testing. 

• Supply HBsAg-positive women with documentation of HBsAg laboratory results and ask them to provide this documentation to labor and delivery staff at the time of delivery. 


Labor and Delivery Care 

• Identify HBsAg status of all women presenting for delivery. 

• If a woman’s HBsAg status is positive, HBIG and single antigen hepatitis B vaccine should be administered to her infant within 12 hours of birth. 

• If a woman’s HBsAg status is unknown, single antigen hepatitis B vaccine should be administered to her infant within 12 hours of birth. Administration of HBIG should be determined per ACIP recommendations (see Infants weighing <2,000 grams should receive HBIG if the mother’s HBsAg status cannot be determined within 12 hours of birth. 

Provide the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all other newborns within 24 hours of birth to prevent horizontal hepatitis B virus transmission from household or other close contacts. 


Pediatric care of HBV-exposed infants 

• Every effort should be made to ensure HBV-exposed infants complete the hepatitis B vaccine series following the ACIP recommendations (see using single-component vaccine who are experiencing immunization service disruption should administer hepatitis B vaccine as close to the recommended intervals as possible, including series completion at 6 months, and follow ACIP recommendations for post-vaccination serologic testing. 

• If post-serologic vaccination testing is delayed beyond 6 months after the hepatitis B series is completed, the provider should consider administering a “booster” dose of single antigen hepatitis B vaccine and then ordering post-vaccination serologic testing (HBsAg & antibody to HBsAg [anti-HBs]) 1-2 months after the “booster” dose. 




Deborah Bolton-Plucknett, Nurse Consultant

KY DPH/Epidemiology and Health Planning

Immunization Section

275 East Main Street/HS2E-B

Frankfort, KY  40601

Tel. 502-564-4478 Ext 4259

Fax. 502-564-4760



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