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Hepatitis B Vaccine Shortage

28 September 2017

There is a global shortage of hepatitis B vaccine and Occupational Health currently have no supply and therefore are not in a position to vaccinate staff or students.

For information Public Health England (PHE) have issued guidance which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hepatitis-b-vaccine-recommendations-during-supply-constraints

According to the PHE guidance document pre-exposure priming for occupational health in UK clinical settings is set at a low priority. We advise that school risk assessments are reviewed in the light of this information.   

If the PHE guidance is followed, should staff or students have a needlestick injury or exposure incident they would automatically fall into one of the top three priorities. The exposure incident should be risk assessed by the NHS Trusts expert risk assessor. If they then require post exposure prophylaxis this can be administered. Students and staff therefore need to be made aware of the importance of reporting a needlestick injury immediately to the hotline and occupational health should be able to provide clear guidance and advice for them.

For patient advice please see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/636079/Hepb_vaccine_advice_for_patients.pdf

The guidance also advises that 5 yearly booster doses of hepatitis B can be delayed for at least 12 months.

It is currently unlikely that there will be any substantial supplies of vaccine this year. Please check the website for updates.

Further information

The information in this item has been reproduced from the resources stated. Please contact the University Occupational Health Service for health information or advice. Further information about Needlestick injuries and the Needlestick hotline number can be found on the Occupational Health Service website