Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


DC Health

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program

pregnant woman with doctor


Disease Burden of Perinatal Hepatitis B

Each year in the United States approximately 24,000 Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive women give birth1.  Out of these births, approximately 924 infants will become infected with the Hepatitis B virus from perinatal (mother to baby) transmission[1].  In the District of Columbia, an estimated 39 - 69 births to HBsAg+ women are expected this year[2]

Infants are particularly vulnerable as 90% of those infants who get Hepatitis B within the 12 months of birth become chronically infected (for life) and have a higher chance of developing liver cancer or liver failure.  Individuals who become infected with Hepatitis B after five years of age only have a 5% chance of chronic infection.

Prevention of Perinatal Hepatitis B

It is the mission of the District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) to identify hepatitis B surface antigen-positive pregnant women or infants at delivery and to work with care providers to administer appropriate treatment to prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control for perinatal Hepatitis B prevention include:

  • Testing and identification of HBsAg+ women early in pregnancy or their infants at delivery and reporting all cases in your practice (regardless of where they reside) to your state Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP)
  • Universal birth dose administration of the Hepatitis B vaccine to all infants.
  • Administration of Hepatitis B vaccine and Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth to infants born to mothers who are HBsAg+ , those mothers of unknown status, or mothers with a past history of Hepatitis B in previous pregnancies but who may currently test negative.
  • Vaccination of infants born to HBsAg+ mothers with Hepatitis B vaccine on schedule (birth, 1-2 months, and 6 months).
  • Post-vaccine serology testing should be done at 1 – 2 months after the third Hepatitis B vaccine and at least 9 months of age. Testing should include Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and Hepatitis B antibody (anti-HB or HBsAb).
  • Referral of each perinatal case (prenatal or up to 24 months post-delivery) to the Perinatal Hepatitis B Nurse Case Coordinator for the District of Columbia at 202-576-9325 email: [email protected].  Reporting online link

Perinatal and Postnatal Hepatitis B Reporting

General Hepatitis Information

DC Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Hepatitis STD Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA)

Asian Liver Center

Hepatitis B Foundation Resource Center

Immunization Action Coalition

Interpretation of Hepatitis B Serological Results

HIPPA and Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention and Treatment Information

Guiding principles and tools for perinatal Hepatitis B prevention and treatment are found on the CDC website and in the DC Municipal Regulation 22-B Section 207 .

Link a What Obstetricians Need to Know


[1] Smith et al. Pediatrics 2012; 129(4). Ko et al. J Ped Infect Dis published online 2014

[2] 2013 Printable CDC published 2016