All babies born from the 1st of August in the UK will receive the hepatitis B vaccine as part of their routine immunisation schedule. The vaccine will be added to the 5-in-1 vaccine that is already given to protect from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib | OnMedica
The move brings the UK into line with other countries which began to offer the vaccine after the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended in 1992 that babies should be immunised against the virus.
It is hoped that offering the hexavalent vaccine will drive down viral infections that cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. In children, the virus can linger for years causing serious liver damage.
Sema Mandal, a consultant in immunisation, hepatitis and blood safety at Public Health England (PHE), told The Guardian that the vaccine had been used widely and safely for many years, with about 150 million doses given to children since 2000.
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