Hepatitis B Vaccine Shortage

Hepatitis ACT understands from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that there is a national shortage of the adult dose of the hepatitis B vaccine, and as a result they say “GSK prioritises hepatitis B vaccine availability for those most at risk of infection and confirms uninterrupted supply of Engerix-B to all Australian State, Territory and Federal Government vaccination programs where Engerix-B is the vaccine of choice” but not as they advised to private providers. Thankfully there is no interruption of supply for the paediatric dose.

The GSK media release is available at:
http://au.gsk.com/en-au/media/press-releases/2017/engerix-b-hepatitis-b-vaccine-availability/

Hepatitis ACT has raised this matter with the ACT Chief Health Officer who offers the following advice:
• I am advised that the majority of Hepatitis B vaccine used in the ACT is the CSL/Sequirus product rather than the GSK product.
• The ACT Government routinely purchases paediatric vaccine for newborns and catch-up doses, as well as adult vaccine for household and sexual contacts of Hepatitis B positive people and those in other risk groups.
• This is provided to Companion House, Winnunga, Junction Youth Health Service, the Alcohol and Drug Service and the Sexual Health Service as well as other GPs.
• At present, ACT Government is well stocked and would anticipate being able to meet those demands.
• We will continue to monitor the situation, however, as it is clearly a public health priority that vaccination for Hepatitis B continues to be available.

5 April 2017