Milestone target to eliminate viral Hepatitis B in children reached

In 2019, the number of children under five years old with chronic infections of Hepatitis B (HBV) has dropped to just under 1%. This is considerably less than the 5% infection rate in the era before the vaccination (early 2000s and before). Infants are especiallly vulnerable to the virus, as it is very likely that they become chronic HBV carriers.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the former WHO director, said: "No infant should grow up only to die of hepatitis B because they were not vaccinated ─ today’s milestone means that we have dramatically reduced the number of cases of liver damage and liver cancer in future generations,".

The HBV vaccine provides a 95% protection against an infection.


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