Madour, A., Alkout, A. and Vanin, Stefano (2013) First evaluation of the serum level of anti-hepatitis B surface antigen after vaccination in Libya. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 19 (12). pp. 990-994. ISSN 1020-3397

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination schedule in Libya follows international recommendations (1st dose at birth, 2nd after 1 month and 3rd after 6 months). This research aimed to evaluate the long-term protection of the HBV immunization programme in Tripoli and to determine the best age to administer booster doses. Serum levels of hepatitis B surface antigen were determined in 277 randomly selected children aged 1–12 years. The response to HBV vaccine in 1–3-year-olds was 93.2%, but this declined with age and at 7–9 years after initial vaccination only 53.1% of children had protective titres (≥ 10 mIU/mL). No significant differences between males and females in antibody persistence or response to vaccine were observed. We recommend continuing the HBV vaccination programme and that a booster dose be given to 6-year-old children to ensure maximum protection during the period of school entry and beyond.