The objective of this study was to model the age–time-dependent incidence of hepatitis B while estimating the impact of vaccination. While stochastic models/time-series have been used before to model hepatitis B cases in the absence of knowledge on the number of susceptibles, this paper proposed using a method that fits into the generalized additive model framework. Generalized additive models with penalized regression splines are used to exploit the underlying continuity of both age and time in a flexible non-parametric way. Based on a unique case notification dataset, we have shown that the implemented immunization programme in Bulgaria resulted in a significant decrease in incidence for infants in their first year of life with 82% (79–84%). Moreover, we have shown that conditional on an assumed baseline susceptibility percentage, a smooth force-of-infection profile can be obtained from which two local maxima were observed at ages 9 and 24 years.
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