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Progress toward Elimination of Hepatitis B Virus Transmission in Oman: Impact of Hepatitis B Vaccination

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  • Office of H E of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman; Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman; Central Public Health Laboratory, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman; Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Approximately 2–7% of the Omani population has chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. To decrease this burden, universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination was introduced in Oman in 1990. The hepatitis B vaccination strategy and reported coverage were reviewed. To assess the impact of the program on chronic HBV seroprevalence, a nationally representative seroprevalence study was conducted in Oman in 2005. Since 1991, hepatitis B vaccination in Oman has reached almost every eligible child, with reported coverage of ≥ 97% for the birth dose and ≥ 94% for three doses. Of 175 children born pre-vaccine introduction, 16 (9.1%) had evidence of HBV exposure, and 4 (2.3%) had evidence of chronic infection. Of 1,890 children born after vaccine introduction, 43 (2.3%) had evidence of HBV exposure, and 10 (0.5%) had evidence of chronic infection. Oman has a strong infant hepatitis B vaccination program, resulting in a dramatic decrease in chronic HBV seroprevalence.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Salah Thabit Al Awaidy, Communicable Disease Advisor to Health Affairs, Office of HE Undersecretary of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Post Box 393 Postal Code 113, Sultanate of Oman. E-mail: Salah.awaidy@gmail.com

Financial support: Funding for this seroprevalence study was provided by the World Health Organization and the Omani Ministry of Health.

Authors' addresses: Salah Thabit Al Awaidy, Office of H E of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat Sultanate of Oman, E-mail: salah.awaidy@gmail.com. Shyam Pandurang Bawikar, Salim Al Mahrouqi, Said Al Baqlani, and Idris Al Obaidani, Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, E-mails: shyam.bawikar@gmail.com, salem.mahrooqi@gmail.com, saidalisaif@yahoo.co.uk, and dr.idris.oman@gmail.com. Suleiman Salim Al Busaidy, Central Public Health Laboratory, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, E-mail: mohdl@omantel.net.om. James Alexander and Minal K. Patel, Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: Axj1@cdc.gov and hgo9@cdc.gov.

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