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16. Effectiveness of Infant Hepatitis B Immunization

And to show you how well we have done (because there are special populations in the US that have very high rates of hepatitis B, Alaskan native populations, and Asian/Pacific Islander population): ... There have been studies that have been done recently that looked at chronic infection before vaccinations, and this was in Alaskan natives, in Hawaiian school children (Hawaii not having an ethnic racial majority, but having a wide distribution of racial and ethnic groups, predominantly Asian and Pacific Islander). And among children born to Asian immigrants in the US, there were studies back in the late 80's that showed that almost 7% of these children had chronic infection. And if you look now, since childhood immunization has been implemented, and some of these data have been published (the Alaska data have been published, but the Hawaiian and the Asian immigrant data are new data that have been presented at a number of meetings) you can see that there has been elimination of transmission in Alaska. It looks like chronic infections are gone, they just don't occur anymore. And in these populations there has been again, almost a 90% reduction in chronic infections, and people have actually gone back to look at, who are those children that get infected. Yes, sometimes there has been a lapse in the system, but again, there has been a tremendous effect in terms of our childhood hepatitis B immunization program.