The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases and the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control have recently pointed out that the selective strategy of immunization against hepatitis B virus (HBV) of high-risk populations has not resulted in the limitation of the diffusion of the disease. In fact, in spite of vaccine availability for more than 10 years, about 200 000 to 300 000 new cases of infection occur in the United States each year. Therefore, the AAP recommended the "universal hepatitis B immunization" strategy as a means to control the disease.1,2

In Italy, where about 400 000 new cases of infection are expected each year, the vaccination has been extended to all newborns, regardless of mother's serologic status (and, for the first 12 years, to all 12-year-old adolescents), with a law promulgated in May 1991.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.