In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to Member States on health policy matters, WHO is issuing a series of regularly updated position papers on vaccines and vaccine combinations against diseases that have an international public health impact. These papers are concerned primarily with the use of vaccines in large-scale immunization programmes; limited vaccination, as executed mostly in the private sector, may be a valuable supplement to national programmes but is not emphasized in these policy documents. The position papers summarize essential background information on the respective diseases and vaccines and conclude with the current WHO position concerning vaccine use in the global context.
Introduction of HepB vaccine into childhood immunization services. Management guidelines, including information for health workers and parents
Hepatitis B is a major public health problem. Approximately 30% of the world’s population, i.e. about 2 billion people, have serological evidence of infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (1). It is estimated that 350 million of them have chronic HBV infection, about a million of whom die each year from chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. HBV is second only to tobacco as a known human carcinogen.