Hepatitis B vaccine rationed amid global shortage

UK health officials are temporarily limiting who can have a hepatitis B vaccination because they are running low.

UK travellers are being told they may not be able to get the vaccine before they leave Britain for higher-risk countries.

Babies and high-risk groups will be prioritised under measures that are expected to continue into 2018.

The decision is in response to the wider, global shortage of the jab caused by manufacturing issues.

The risk for travellers to regions including East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa is still low, but people visiting these countries may still want to consider be vaccinated.

The global shortage is affecting stocks in private clinics as well as the NHS. Although manufacturers are getting more in stock, supplies are limited.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England said: “All those who need to have a hepatitis B vaccine will be offered it in due course.”

But she said some people wanting to be vaccinated now may not be able to be.

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