Hepatitis B vaccine in world demand

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If the news from SKY is anything to go by, the world may soon begin to take drastic measures to meet the required quantum of the Hep.


B vaccine or begin prayer sessions that people do not get sick with the ailment. This is because a global shortage of the hepatitis B vaccine has been declared by Public Health England (PHE) because of manufacturing problems.

Emergency measures have been put in place to protect those at the “highest immediate risk” and are expected to continue until 2018, the body said.

Doctors will assess which patients are the most in need and advise whether some treatment can be delayed.

PHE said the risk of catching hepatitis B in the UK remains very low.

People who have unprotected sex, inject drugs or have dental and medical care in high-risk countries are most vulnerable.

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, spread through blood and bodily fluids.

NHS Choices warns that it “often doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms” and “typically passes in a few months without treatment”.

Children can get serious liver damage if the infection persists for years.

Symptoms include tiredness, fever, loss of appetite, jaundice and feeling and being sick.

PHE confirmed that children aged two, three and four months old will still get the vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule, which protects them against five other diseases.

It pointed travellers to the Travel Health Pro website, which describes hepatitis B as “one of the most prevalent blood-borne viruses worldwide” and “a major cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer”.

The infection is most prevalent in East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa, where between 5-10% of adults have it.

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