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Screening information updated to include change to hepatitis B vaccine for babies

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme

We’ve updated our antenatal and newborn screening information for public and professionals following a change to the vaccination schedule for babies.

From this autumn, all babies will be offered a hexavalent (6 in 1) vaccine called Infanrix hexa® for their routine primary immunisations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.

Infanrix hexa® vaccine
The new Infanrix hexa® vaccine

This vaccine replaces the Pediacel® and InfanrixIPV+Hib® (DTaP/IPV+Hib) vaccines.

As well as providing protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b) it will also give babies protection against the hepatitis B virus.

Babies born on or after 1 August will be offered Infanrix hexa® from late September/early October. The personal child health record (red book) has been updated to include this new vaccine and will be available shortly.

To reflect this change, we’ve updated the infectious diseases in pregnancy screening programme information in our Screening Tests for You and Your Baby booklet which we give to all women when their pregnancy is booked. Other updated screening resources include:

We will update our professional resource cards soon.

Mothers with hepatitis B

Personal child health record
The personal child health record red book

Babies born to mothers who have hepatitis B will continue to need additional monovalent hepatitis B vaccine (and if indicated, hepatitis B immunoglobulin) at birth (within 24 hours) and another vaccination at 4 weeks of age.

Antenatal and newborn screening coordinators should put plans in place for babies at increased risk of hepatitis B to ensure:

  • the vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin are available for the delivery suite to access at the birth of the baby
  • the hepatitis B insert page is available for the baby’s red book on delivery suite
  • documentation sent with the immunoglobulin is completed and sent back to the PHE team at Colindale
  • the vaccination and injection of antibodies are administered within 24 hours of birth
  • the child health records department and baby’s GP are notified of this and the need for another vaccination at 4 weeks of age

The personal child health record (PCHR), incorporating the hepatitis B information, can be ordered and paid for in the usual way by contacting Harlow Printing.

You can read more information about the introduction of hexavalent vaccine on GOV.UK or by subscribing to the PHE Vaccine Update.

This article was updated on 7 May 2019 to make clear that the free PCHR inserts are no longer available as the hepatitis B pages are now incorporated in the full book.

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  1. Comment by Margaret Costello posted on

    Dear Sharon

    I clicked on the link for the new edition of the hepatitis B leaflet on the website following the statement "To reflect this change, we’ve updated the hepatitis B screen positive leaflet and downloaded a copy in English and Romanian
    The English version of this leaflet does include the new additional hepatitis B vaccination schedule in it but the Romanian copy does not
    I discovered this today when I saw a Romanian Hepatitis B mother and I asked the Romanian interpreter to read that page to me and it does not include the new information about hepatitis B vaccine
    I have not checked the other languages

    • Replies to Margaret Costello>

      Comment by Sharon Webb posted on

      NOTE: Translations for all screening leaflets will be updated as soon as possible. Healthcare professionals, in the interim, should utilise interpreter services to convey the changes to women.

  2. Comment by Susie Phillips posted on

    Does this mean infants to HBV positive women will continue to receive the accelerated vaccination schedule at birth, one and two mths with blood tests at 12 mths AND the new 6 in 1 vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks?

    Thank you, slightly confused

    • Replies to Susie Phillips>

      Comment by Sharon Webb posted on

      Dear Susie,

      There is no change to the timing of the routine childhood immunisation schedule with the introduction of the hexavalent vaccine but babies born on or after 1 August 2017 will be offered Infanrix hexa® (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB) in place of pentavalent vaccine (DTaP/IPV/Hib) at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

      The schedule has changed for the selective neonatal hepatitis B immunisation programme for babies born to hepatitis B infected mothers. These babies will still require a dose of monovalent vaccine immediately after birth (+/- immunoglobulin) and at 4 weeks of age and then follow the routine schedule with hexavalent vaccine (at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age). They will require a further dose of monovalent hepatitis B vaccine at one year of age and should be tested to exclude infection at the same time.
      Best wishes,

      Sharon Webb