Written Answers. - Hepatitis B Vaccination Scheme.

Tuesday, 25 April 1995

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 451 No. 8

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[1805]

  89.  Mr. Lawlor  Information on Liam Lawlor  Zoom on Liam Lawlor   asked the Minister for Health  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan   the proposals, if any, he has to introduce a general vaccination scheme in respect of the Hepatitis B infection in view of the fact that Hepatitis B is second only to smoking as a cause of cancer and is much more infectious than AIDS but, unlike AIDS, vaccination can prevent the disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7537/95]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Limerick East): The reported incidence of hepatitis B in Ireland, as in most Northern European countries, is quite low — 24 cases of the disease were reported to my Department in 1994.

The epidemiology of hepatitis B is constantly kept under review and at present there are no plans to introduce a national vaccination programme against hepatitis B. The general population is not regarded as being at a high risk of contracting the disease. The vaccination is however available to all high risk categories as recommended by the World Health Organisation.


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