The Department of Health has now confirmed that from Autumn 2017, the routine childhood vaccination programme in England will be replaced by a six in one (hexavalent) vaccine which also protects against hepatitis B.
The announcement was made after the British Liver Trust asked the All Parliamentary Group into liver health to table a parliamentary question.
The Trust has campaigned long and hard on this issue with the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation so are delighted to report this success.
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said, “Hepatitis B is a considerable cause of liver disease in the UK and there are some groups that are at more risk including people from or visiting high risk countries, people who inject drugs and people who have unprotected sex.
“Adults can have Hepatitis B without realising it, as there are often no obvious symptoms, and it can sometimes pass in a few months without treatment. However, in children and some adults it can often persist for years and may eventually cause serious liver damage.
“The World Health Organisation recommended in 1992 that all children be immunised against the virus, and Britain is one of the last European countries to fall in line with the guidance. We are delighted that the Government has finally listened to the advice of the British Liver Trust and other organisations and that from the beginning of August all babies in the UK will be given it as part of the hexavalent immunisation which will help reduce a significant cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer in the UK.”
Read the Parliamentary written response here
Read Public Health England vaccine update