Merck HepB vaccine unavailable until April; GSK has supply
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
Merck’s shortage of pediatric hepatitis B vaccine Recombivax HB has been extended
GlaxoSmithKline has an adequate supply of Engerix-B hepatitis B vaccine to make up
for the shortage, but it only will be available in prefilled syringes. The two monovalent
vaccines are interchangeable.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection transmitted through blood or body fluids that can be passed from a mother to her
baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 90% of infected
infants develop chronic infection.
The CDC and Academy 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.
Merck said in July that demand and manufacturing process updates caused a shortage in both adult and
pediatric formulations of Recombivax HB. At the time, it expected the pediatric vaccine
to be available in early 2018.
The Academy will continue to update members on the shortage as more information becomes