15 Jun 2017

Hepatitis A vaccine shortage: implications and advice for clinical practice

Public Health England and NaTHNaC offer guidance for health professionals during the current hepatitis A vaccine shortage Hepatitis A vaccine shortage: implications and advice for clinical practice
Hepatitis A vaccine continues to be in short supply in the United Kingdom (UK) and globally; until normal vaccine supply resumes, some products may not be available or may be reserved for special risk groups. Thus, in these exceptional circumstances, it is necessary to consider options for hepatitis A vaccine dose sparing.

Following consultation with the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation, Public Health England and NaTHNaC offer the following temporary guidance for health professionals in the UK:

  • Hepatitis A vaccine use should be prioritised; an effective risk assessment will ensure vaccine recommendations are appropriate, help identify higher risk travellers.
  • For immunocompetent adults, and where adult monovalent vaccine is not available, a single priming dose of either paediatric monovalent hepatitis A vaccine or adult combination hepatitis A/B vaccine can be given (off-label)

- Non-immune HIV positive persons should preferentially receive standard adult antigen content monovalent HAV as a priming dose because of the poorer response rates to vaccine in this group.

  • For adults primed with adult monovalent hepatitis A, a booster dose of either paediatric monovalent hepatitis A or adult combination hepatitis A/B vaccine can be given (off-label) where adult monovalent stock is not available.
  • For adults primed with adult monovalent hepatitis A vaccine, a booster dose can be delayed until beyond the recommended 12 months, to five years, in most circumstances.


Health professionals who are not independent prescribers must use a Patient Specific Direction to supply or administer products off-label, in addition to following any local guidelines.

Health professionals are advised to follow recommendations as per the jurisdiction in which they practice. Further guidance will be published as information becomes available.

Resources

HEPATITIS A VACCINE SHORTAGE: IMPLICATIONS AND ADVICE FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE

Public Health England and NaTHNaC offer guidance for health professionals during the current hepatitis A vaccine shortage Read more

Changes to the Country Information Pages: Hepatitis A vaccine recommendations

NaTHNaC has reviewed and updated the hepatitis A country specific information and vaccine recommendations to provide up-to-date recommendations for travellers and travel health professionals Read more

World Pride in Spain

A reminder for those travelling to World Pride in Madrid, 23 June to 2 July 2017, to be aware of potential health risks, particularly sexual health risks Read more

Summer travel food and hygiene reminder 2017

Tips on the prevention of food and water borne illness during travel Read more
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