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Vaccination Against Hepatitis B And Neurological Complications!

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From an article published in "Le Monde" (one of the most important national French newspaper): http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2008...99232_3224.html, rough translation follows:


One of vaccines against hepatitis B, Engerix B, seems associated with the child to an increased risk of developing, three years later, multiple sclerosis. This risk, which is not found for the whole of vaccines against hepatitis B, would be multiplied by 1,74 in the case of the Engerix B. The health authorities have launched a "expertise" in order to see if there is reason to change the recommendation to vaccinate infants to prevent a disease which are linked more than 2800 deaths per year.


The study, which Le Monde has seen, was conducted by the team of Professor Marc Tardieu (Service neuro-pédiatrie, the hospital Kremlin-Bicetre) and must be published soon. So far, the two studies in children vaccinated against hepatitis B had not detected aggravated risk of secondary effect neurological. In the adult, a single study has found a statistical link between the vaccination and the subsequent occurrence of multiple sclerosis (Le Monde of September 16 2004).




The study of the team of Marc Tardieu concerns the vaccine against hepatitis B is the most used in France: 787.754 doses of Engerix B children and infants were reimbursed by health insurance in 2007. The authors state that their study does not rule out an increased risk with another vaccine, the GenHevacB.


"The immunization coverage against hepatitis B is low in France: 29% of children aged 2 years and 32% of adults, underlines the Director General of Health, Professor Didier Houssin. Yet, our country 300.000 chronic bearers of hepatitis B and 3.000 new hepatitis B by year. "


The director general of the Health indicates that because of this situation health authorities are working for several months to improve the public information, prevention and care of people affected by hepatitis B. "We will measure the scope of this study. However, its preliminary analysis does not call into question the recommendations of vaccination. In the current state, the Department of Health maintains the vaccine recommendations ", says the Director General of Health.


The Directorate General of Health has met, Wednesday, September 24, epidemiologists to analyze the study. The Technical Committee of vaccinations, then the top council of public health will be consulted early October. The Department of Health will also manage the reactions of parents whose children were vaccinated with Engerix B.


Since the placing on the market of vaccines against hepatitis B, 33 million people have been vaccinated in France, whose 12 million children under 15 years and 3,4 million infants. Nearly 1 300 cases of neurological complications were identified among people vaccinated.


Paul Benkimoun

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