Epidemiological approach and bioethical considerations on hepatitis b virus infection in children and adolescents in the state of Acre, Brazil



The study investigates the epidemiological aspects of hepatitis B in children and adolescents, discussing the results found in the light of bioethical principles. This is a cross-sectional, retrospective study, based on a time series of cases, whose notification data were extracted from the Notifiable Diseases Information System (SINAN) and vaccination data from the National Immunization Program Information System - SIPNI, from 2011 to 2020. 889 cases of hepatitis B were reported in the study population. Most participants were aged between 15 and 19 years old 738 (83%), female 549 (62%), brown skin color 637 (72%) living in the urban area 490 (55%) and with incomplete elementary education 279 (31%). The probable source of infection was through sexual intercourse 450 (51%). The most common clinical form was Chronic Hepatitis 496 (56%). Most of those infected with Hepatitis B were unvaccinated individuals 298 (34%). In the light of bioethics, the results show that the practice of vaccination can contemplate bioethical principles, since the degree of autonomy depends on a type of planned intervention and the greater the relationship between benefit and burden, taking into account the principles of beneficence and not maleficence, the less decisive is this autonomy.


hepatitis b, vaccination coverage, children, teenagers, epidemiology, bioethics