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Hepatitis B

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what encouragement he is giving health care workers in high-risk areas to seek vaccination against hepatitis B;(2) if he will make it his policy to encourage district health authorities to formulate a policy of immunisation for health care workers, in view of the prevalence of hepatitis B in each district of individual hospitals.

The current guidance of hepatitis B vaccination, contained in the memorandum "Immunisation Against Infectious Diseases" issued by the Health Departments on the advice of the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), sets out categories of health care workers at high risk of contracting the disease, and health authorities are expected to ensure that those workers are vaccinated.The JCVI has recently been reviewing on this vaccination, and we hope to be able to promulgate its revised guidance at an early date, together with our own advice to health authorities on the action they should take.