At the moment there is a shortage in the vaccine for Hepatitis B. This shortage which could have significant impacts has been caused by problems which have occurred in the manufacturing process. The news has been announced by Public Health England, and now a number of different measures have been put in place so that those who are at the highest immediate risk will have access to the vaccine through the NHS.
The measures to minimise the impact of this shortage have been designed by Public Health England working alongside NHS England and the Department of health. The manufacturers have also been involved in the implementation of the series of measures which will be in place until the beginning of 2018. The manufacturing process of the Hepatitis B vaccine will also be kept under review in order to monitor the process.
Public Health England has said that the risk of catching Hepatitis B in the UK is very low. This is good news considering the issues that are currently being faced with the manufacturing process. The supplies of the vaccine are limited, and therefore it is important to make sure that those who are at a higher risk of catching the disease have access to the vaccine. It is decided who is at the highest immediate risk by doctor’s assessments. For those who are considered less at risk, a Doctor could advise that it is safe for the vaccine to be deferred until a later date.
For those who have already been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, the vaccination will still remain available. It has also been announced that hepatitis B protection is to be included in the routine childhood immunisation programme, which works to inoculate children at 2, 3 and 4 months. This introduction is still expected to go ahead as planned.