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Hepatitis B

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made against the spread or hepatitis B infection; what groups of people are being inoculated against it; and if he will make a statement.

The number of cases of acute hepatitis B reported to the public health laboratory service has declined from approximately 2,200 in 1985 to approximately 800 in 1987. During this period there has been not only an increase in vaccination against the disease but the issue of detailed advice to health authorities on preventing the spread of both hepatitis B and HIV infection in specific high risk situations, as well as widespread publicity on the risks of AIDS and HIV infection.The current memorandum from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI), which advises the health Departments on all aspects of immunisation, recommends that specific groups of health care personnel, patients, and family contacts should be considered for vaccination against hepatitis B. We hope shortly to make an announcement about a review of this guidance which has been undertaken by the JCVI.