Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Significant Global Progress: From 2016 to 2020, global coverage with the third dose of hepatitis B vaccine remained stable while coverage with the hepatitis B birth dose increased, indicating progress towards the elimination of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HBV.
  2. Increased Vaccine Coverage: In 2020, 41% of countries achieved ≥90% coverage for both the hepatitis B birth dose and the 3-dose series of the hepatitis B vaccine, marking a significant step towards global elimination goals.
  3. Reduction in HBV Prevalence Among Children: By December 2021, 11 countries documented ≤0.1% HBsAg prevalence among children, meeting a key elimination benchmark.
  4. Immunization as a Key Intervention: The timely administration of the hepatitis B birth dose followed by additional doses according to national schedules is critical for preventing MTCT of HBV.
  5. Need for Accelerated Efforts: Accelerating the introduction of the hepatitis B birth dose, increasing coverage of the third dose, and improving monitoring are essential for the elimination of MTCT of HBV.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Nino Khetsuriani,

Suggested Citation

Khetsuriani N, Lesi O, Desai S, Armstrong PA, Tohme RA. Progress Toward the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus — Worldwide, 2016–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:958–963. DOI:


The report highlights the global efforts and progress towards the elimination of MTCT of hepatitis B virus (HBV) from 2016 to 2021. It showcases the stability in global coverage with the third dose of hepatitis B vaccine and an increase in the hepatitis B birth dose coverage. The achievement of ≥90% coverage in 41% of countries and a reduction in HBsAg prevalence among children in 11 countries are key milestones towards elimination.


The methods section outlines the processes for collecting immunization data, the criteria for elimination validation, and the interventions to prevent MTCT of HBV, emphasizing the importance of timely hepatitis B birth dose administration followed by additional hepatitis B vaccine doses.


The discussion underscores the significant progress made towards eliminating MTCT of HBV in most WHO regions, with a particular focus on the increased vaccine coverage and reduction in HBV prevalence among children. It also highlights the need for accelerated efforts, especially in regions where introduction and coverage of the hepatitis B birth dose are lagging.


Eliminating MTCT of HBV is within reach, given the substantial progress reported globally. However, achieving this goal requires ongoing efforts to introduce the hepatitis B birth dose into routine immunization programs, increase vaccine coverage, and ensure effective monitoring and validation processes.


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