Hepatitis B Vaccine Coverage and the Immune Response in Children under ten years old in Sana’a, Yemen

Hassan A Al-Shamahy, Samira H Hanash, Iqbal A Rabbad, Nameem M Al-Madhaji, Samarih M Naser


Objectives: The study was undertaken, first, to determine the coverage rate of hepatitis B (HB) vaccine and second to evaluate the immune response to HB vaccine among children under 10 years old by measuring the level of circulating anti-HB surface antigen (anti-HBs) antibodies after immunisation with three doses. Methods: First, 840 children were randomly selected from 4 randomly selected sites in Sana'a city to study the coverage rate of the vaccine; of these, 504 children vaccinated against HBV prior to the study, were tested (56% males and 44% females). Sera were tested for anti-HBs antibodies by ELISA quantitative technique. Each individual’s data was collected in a pre-designed questionnaire including: vaccination date, sex, and age at the time of the study. Results: The coverage rate of HBV vaccine was only 69.9%, being slightly higher among male children (72.1%) than female children (66.8%). A total of 276 (54.8%) of the 504 children responded to the vaccine with anti-HBs antibody level ≥ 10 mIU/ml, while 228 (45.2%) of the 504 children had non-protective anti-HBs antibodies levels (<10IU/ml). Children of ages 3–5 years had the highest protective rate (63.6%), and the lowest protective rate was in the 9–10 years age group. Conclusion: This study revealed a low coverage rate of HBV vaccine and a low protective rate against HBV infection. A considerable proportion of vaccinated children should be considered for either revaccination or booster doses. There is also the need to complete HBV vaccine coverage among the child population in San’a, Yemen.


Hepatitis B; Vaccine; Children; Yemen; Sana'a

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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