50 signatures reached
To: Dr Pearson Chair Luton Clinical Commissioning Group
Reinstate free hepatitis B vaccines
Reverse your decision to ban the use of combined Hepatitis A and B vaccines for children and families travelling to countries with medium to high prevalence of hepatitis B.
Why is this important?
1.In the UK we lack a universal vaccination programme for hepatitis B, although this was recommended by the WHO as long ago as 1992 who recommend that all children under 18 years should be vaccinated against Hepatitis B
2. Global travel provides a conduit for the potential spread of hepatitis B between countries with high and low prevalence, so that urban areas with globally mobile populations can become areas of high prevalence
3. Luton VFR (visiting friends and relatives) Travellers are at high risk of contracting Hepatitis B because they visit countries of high prevalence (Sub Saharan Africa and the Indian Subcontinent) staying with families and communities for extended periods, possibly using local medical services as well as staying in overcrowded living conditions
4. Hepatitis B vaccination is important not just to protect individual travellers, but also to protect the home community from infections contracted abroad
5.Banning the use of a previously free NHS combined vaccine means that children and families have to pay to be given vaccinations by their GPs and some set their fee at £50 a vaccination meaning the course of three costs £150, or they risk travel without vaccination against Hepatitis B.
6. For a child 2 vaccinations of the combined vaccine could cover them against both Hepatitis A and B for life, whereas 5 vaccinations are required of the single vaccines.
7. Hepatitis B is a highly infectious virus (one hundred times more infectious than HIV), it can lead to chronic liver disease and cancer. It causes 600,000 deaths each year across the world. WHO estimates that there are 240 billion chronically infected carriers of hepatitis B and that 2 billion people have been infected with Hepatitis B.
8. We have no universal vaccination programme in the UK against Hepatitis B.....and Luton have banned the use of a free safe and effective vaccine to children and families at risk....