Virginia Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention (VPHBP) Program

Manager: Ann Basner, MPH

PHBPThe VPHBP Program is a collaborative effort with local health departments and private providers to identify hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive pregnant women, their household contacts, and sexual partners.* Once identified, free testing and vaccine, if needed, is provided to the contacts and partners of these women. Free Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine for newborns of infected mothers are provided to the delivery hospital and the infant’s physician to prevent the spread of HBV from mother to newborn.

* Effective December 18, 2001, all HBsAg positive pregnant women are reportable by law to the local health department.

  • Approximately 1.25 million persons in the U.S. are infected with chronic hepatitis B. Of these, approximately 4,000-5,000 die each year from chronic liver disease.
  • Children less than 5 years of age infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) have a 30-50% chance of chronic infection and chronic liver disease.
  • Up to 90% of infants perinatally infected will develop chronic infection. Of these infants, 15-25% will die of chronic liver disease as adults.
  • Perinatal transmission accounts for 24% of chronic infections.
Pregnancy Facts
  • All pregnant women are required by law to be tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) during an early prenatal visit.
  • Effective December 18, 2001, all hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive pregnant women are reportable by law to the local health department.
  • The local health department reports the results to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and notifies the VPHBP Program.
  • The VPHBP Program initiates disease intervention activities to identify and vaccinate household contacts and sexual partners.
Program Services
  • Tracking contacts and infants of HBsAg positive pregnant women to ensure that appropriate treatment is received, thereby eliminating the transmission of perinatal hepatitis B.
  • Free prevaccination testing for sexual partners and household contacts of the HBsAg positive pregnant woman and free hepatitis B (HB) vaccine for all susceptible partners and contacts. Free post vaccine testing of sexual partners. The local health departments, upon referral from the VPHBP Program, provide these services.
  • The infant’s physician and delivery hospital are alerted about the HBsAg positive status of the mother.
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin and HB vaccine are provided at no charge to delivery hospitals.
  • Free HB vaccine for completion of the series is provided to the infant’s physician.
  • Free post vaccination testing for infants 3-9 months after completion of the HB vaccine series to ensure protection against HBV.
For information on the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Birth Dose Initiative click below: