Dental professionals have been advised to get the Hepatitis B vaccine.
Public Health England (PHE) have released temporary recommendations to “support clinicians undertaking an individual risk assessment.”
The reason behind this is to “ensure that stock is available for those individual at the highest and most immediate risk of exposure to Hepatitis B during the period of constraint.”
There is currently a shortage of the Hepatitis B vaccine, which is having a severe impact on the UK’s supply. This is expected to continue until early 2018.
PHE have stated: “Most dentist and hygiene therapists will have been fully vaccinated during their training and then tested to confirm response to the primary course.”
Vocational trainees who began in August may be due a routine booster, however this can be deferred until early 2018 as, “the benefit of this booster in known responders is small.”
“Dentist and hygiene therapists coming from non UK Universities, if not already vaccinated should be offered pre-exposure vaccinations as part of the temporary recommendations.”
Dental nurses will not be offered this during the temporary recommendation period as they are considered a “lower priority”. This will be made available to dental nurses when the vaccine supply returns to normal.
This situation is under constant review, with information – when available – being posted on the gov.uk webpage: Hepatitis B vaccine recommendations during supply constraints.