HEPATITIS "B" VACCINATION: APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
AbstractIn this review article, we have discussed different vaccines, their safety and the high riskgroups which should be vaccinated. Two hepatitis "B" vaccines were licensed, the plasma derivedMB Vax (Merck Sharp and Dohme Ltd) in 1982 and the recombinant Engerix "B" (Smith-Klinc andFrench Lab Ltd) in 1987.HB vax, prepared in U.S. has been the most widely used and researched vaccine. Therehas been over 15 years of experience with safety and over 12 years’ clinical experience. Preparationinvolves harvesting non-infectious sub-units from the plasma via plasmapheresis from selectedchronic HBsAg +ive, HBsAg + ive, healthy carriers, which are then inactivated by triple chemicalinactivation. This process inactivates all living organisms previously known to infect man, includingHIV agents. Each batch is subjected to 05 weeks of purification and safety-testing.The second type of genetically engineered vaccine "Engerix B" is prepared from humanblood with whole virion particles harvested from serum of chronic carriers. There is no evidencethat the two types of vaccines differ significantly with respect to safety, side effects, immogenicity,dosage regimen, the necessity for follow-up, or the interchangeability of booster doses followinginitial vaccination. Choice of vaccine will ultimately depend on cost and availability.
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