The transmission of hepatitis B from mother to child has been eliminated in England, the UKHSA has announced.
England have exceeded the WHO target of 90% for administering three doses of the 6-in-1 vaccine that provides hepatitis B immunisation to infants.
In 2021, quarterly coverage for these 3 doses was 91 to 92%, which are administered at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.
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This 3-pronged approached has resulted in England eliminating the transmission of the virus from mother to child.
This is a key milestone in the WHO’s strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis all together by 2030.
‘With the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B, very low hepatitis related death rates and continued reduction of chronic hepatitis C levels, we are on our way to our goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C in England by 2030,’ said Dr Sema Mandal, deputy director for blood borne viruses at UKHSA.
England is also set to eliminate hepatitis C with people living with the virus in 2021 dropped by 47.2% since 2015.
‘We are paving the way for the elimination of hepatitis B and C, with England set to be one of the first countries in the world to wipe out these viruses,’ said Steve Barclay, health and social care secretary.
The NHS are aiming to continue increasing early detection diagnoses of blood borne viruses like HIV, to ensure people have access to treatment as early as possible.
One example of an initiative being run is the ‘mpox and sexual health (STI and HIV) outreach and engagement activity fund’ which funds projects across the UK to reduce sexual health inequalities.
‘We are taking further action to address disparities in sexual health by providing £4 million for our National HIV Prevention Programme, and more than £3.4 billion to local authorities through the Public Health Grant to invest in essential frontline services,’ said minister for primary care and public health, Neil O’Brien.