Progress Toward Hepatitis B Control

World Health Organization European Region, 2016-2019

Nino Khetsuriani, MD, PhD; Liudmila Mosina, MD; Pierre Van Damme, MD, PhD; Antons Mozalevskis, MD; Siddhartha Datta, MD; Rania A. Tohme, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2021;70(30):1029-1035. 

In This Article


The Hepatitis B Regional Working Group of the European Technical Advisory Group of Experts was established in 2017 and developed the framework and criteria for validation of achievement of the regional hepatitis B control targets for countries in EUR (Table 3). The validation process was initiated in 2019. In 2019, the regional validation criteria for immunization coverage were met for HepB3 by 35 (73%) of 48 countries providing universal infant HepB vaccination and for timely HepB-BD by 19 (83%) of 23 countries implementing universal newborn vaccination, including 17 (32%) countries that met both criteria (Table 1). In January 2020, Italy and the Netherlands were validated to have achieved the regional hepatitis B control targets. The United Kingdom received conditional validation based on fully meeting the MTCT prevention and seroprevalence criteria (in antenatal screening), and by partially meeting immunization coverage criteria pending availability of 3 full years of data.¶¶¶¶ Croatia received conditional validation pending clarification of methods for assessing coverage with MTCT prevention interventions.

¶¶¶¶At the time of review of the validation documents by the WHO European Regional Hepatitis B Working Group, 3 years had not yet passed since introduction of universal HepB vaccination in the United Kingdom in mid-2017.