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ASTMH: Combo Vaccine Protects Against Hepatitis A and B

Study finds that accelerated vaccination schedule for travelers is effective and tolerable

MONDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For travelers who need quick protection from hepatitis A and B, an accelerated schedule for the combined vaccine provides comparable immunogenicity to equivalent monovalent vaccines, according to research presented this week at the 55th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta.

Bradley A. Connor, M.D., of The New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine in New York City, compared the effectiveness of the combined vaccine Twinrix, which was administered at zero, seven and 21-30 days and at 12 months, with that of the monovalent vaccines Havrix, which was administered at zero and 12 months, and Engerix, administered at zero, one, two and 12 months.

One month after completion of the schedules, the combined vaccine had an anti-hepatitis B seroprotection rate of 96.4 percent compared to 93.4 percent for the monovalent vaccines. The anti-hepatitis A seroconversion rate was 100 percent in both groups. At day 37, the combined and monovalent groups had similar seroconversion rates for anti-hepatitis A (98.5 percent and 98.6 percent, respectively), but the combined group had a significantly higher anti-hepatitis B seroprotection rate (63.2 percent versus 43.5 percent).

"These findings indicate that an accelerated schedule for the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine provides comparable immunogenicity and tolerability to equivalent monovalent vaccines, offering a valuable option to travelers who need rapid protection," the author concludes.

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