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1.  An economic assessment of pre-vaccination screening for hepatitis A and B. 
Public Health Reports  2003;118(6):550-558.
OBJECTIVE: The availability of a single vaccine active against hepatitis A and B may facilitate prevention of both infections, but complicates the question of whether to conduct pre-vaccination screening. The authors examined the cost-effectiveness of pre-vaccination screening for several populations: first-year college students, military recruits, travelers to hepatitis A-endemic areas, patients at sexually transmitted disease clinics, and prison inmates. METHODS: Three prevention protocols were examined: (1) screen and defer vaccination until serology results are known; (2) screen and begin vaccination immediately to avoid a missed vaccination opportunity; and (3) vaccinate without screening. Data describing pre-vaccination immunity, vaccine effectiveness, and prevention costs borne by the health system (i.e., serology, vaccine acquisition, and administration) were derived from published literature and U.S. government websites. Using spreadsheet models, the authors calculated the ratio of prevention costs to the number of vaccine protections conferred. RESULTS: The vaccinate without screening protocol was most cost-effective in nine of 10 analyses conducted under baseline assumptions, and in 69 of 80 sensitivity analyses. In each population considered, vaccinate without screening was less costly than and at least equally as effective as screen and begin vaccination. The screen and defer vaccination protocol would reduce costs in seven populations, but effectiveness would also be lower. CONCLUSIONS: Unless directed at vaccination candidates with the highest probability of immunity, pre-vaccination screening for hepatitis A and B immunity is not cost-effective. Balancing cost reduction with reduced effectiveness, screen and defer may be preferred for older travelers and prison inmates.
PMCID: PMC1497596  PMID: 14563912
2.  Current Concepts of Viral Hepatitis and A Peek into the Future 1 
New information has prompted revision of the conceptual framework for considering the epidemiology and virology of viral hepatitis. The means are now at hand to identify infections due to either Hepatitis A or B, as well as to implicate other etiologic agents in hepatitis. Immunologic evidence of variation in the antigens associated with Hepatitis B, and possibly in Hepatitis A, may explain some well known epidemiologic phenomena and has important implications in immune serum globulin prophylaxis. The ambiguous relationship of antigenemia and viremia in Hepatitis B is explored in relation to the hepatitis hazard of blood products, to trials of immune serum globulin, and to the potential role of the carrier-health worker in hepatitis transmission. The emerging concept of non-parenteral transmission of Hepatitis B is reviewed and future developments in the production of hepatitis vaccines and in experimental viral hepatitis in non-human primates is briefly discussed.
PMCID: PMC2595111  PMID: 4376306

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