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Hepatitis A vaccine launched in UK for children


Hepatitis A vaccine launched in UK for children

A vaccine that has been developed to prevent infection caused by hepatitis A in children aged one to 15 years has been made available in the UK.

Avaxim Junior is administered in two doses via intramuscular injection six to 36 months apart, although the vaccine’s manufacturer Sanofi said up to seven years can elapse between doses. Avaxim was already available for people aged 16 and over.

Avaxim Junior’s UK launch follows the results of 20 clinical studies involving more than 6,200 children in that age range in 14 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. The children received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The research found the vaccine induced a protective antibody response within two weeks in more than 95 per cent of children and in nearly 100 per cent six months after the first dose.

“Hepatitis A is one of the most prevalent travel-related vaccine-preventable diseases, so the availability of effective options like Avaxim Junior will offer parents peace of mind knowing that they can help protect their children when travelling to high-risk areas,” said Rebecca Catterick, UK and Ireland Sanofi vaccines general manager.

Hepatitis A is not common in the UK but most cases that are reported occur when someone has travelled to a country where infection is more common. According to the World Health Organisation, infection is common in low and middle income countries with poor sanitary conditions and hygienic practices.

The NHS website lists parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America as areas where infection is more common.

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