Need to understand impact of shortage

Source: PharmaDispatch 13 April 2017

Hepatitis Australia says it is working to gain information from governments over the potential impact of the global hepatitis B vaccine shortage.

GSK, the manufacturer of the vaccine, Engerix­B for adults, recently confirmed the company is working to re­build manufacturing capacity after a "precautionary halt".

At the same time, it confirmed Engerix­B paediatric dose is still available.

"GSK prioritises hepatitis B vaccine availability for those most at risk of infection and confirms uninterrupted supply of Engerix­B to all Australian State, Territory and Federal Government vaccination programs where Engerix­B is the vaccine of choice," it said in a statement. "Twinrix combined hepatitis A and B vaccine continues to be available."

In a statement, Hepatitis Australia said it was aware of the global shortage and was "keen to gain further information from governments as soon as possible on the potential impact and mitigation strategies. This is particularly important in light of programs being conducted as part of the National Strategy for Hepatitis B. The Strategy contains targets to increase hepatitis B vaccination coverage in adult priority populations as well as achieving and maintaining hepatitis B childhood vaccination coverage of 95 per cent”.

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