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Merck HepB vaccine shortage extended; GSK has supply :

April 6, 2018

Merck’s pediatric hepatitis B vaccine Recombivax HB will be in short supply for the remainder of the year.

However, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has an adequate supply of hepatitis B vaccine to make up for the shortage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). GSK produces single-component Engerix-B and the combination vaccine Pediarix.

The CDC and Academy continue to recommend routine vaccination against hepatitis B starting within 24 hours of birth for all healthy newborns with a birth weight of at least 2,000 grams, followed by doses at 1-2 months and 6-18 months.

During Merck’s shortage, the CDC recommends prioritizing the birth dose and completion of the infant series over child and adolescent catch-up vaccination unless those patients are at risk for infection.

Last year, Merck said demand around the world and manufacturing process updates caused the shortage of hepatitis B vaccine in both pediatric and adult formulations. The company had expected to resume regular supply this month.

CDC guidance during the supply shortage is available at

Hepatitis B is a liver infection that can be passed from a mother to her baby and is transmitted through blood or body fluids . The CDC estimates 90% of infants infected with hepatitis B congenitally or within the first year of life develop chronic infection.

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