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GPs threaten 'public holiday' shutdown

The BMA has urged ministers to introduce hepatitis B vaccination for all children as the date of the Government's final decision approaches.

It criticised the Government for 'consistently declining to implement this safety measure' despite recommendations from the World Health Organisation that by 1997 all children should be immunised.

And it warned that hepatitis B infections had soared by 135 per cent in England and Wales between 1992 and 2003.

Pulse has learned the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has arrived at a decision on how far to extend hepatitis B vaccination and will finalise details at a meeting in two weeks.

The committee has been considering several options including universal vaccination of 12- to 13-year-olds and routine vaccination in prisons.

Committee member Dr George Kassianos, a GP in Bracknell, Berkshire, told Pulse: 'The JCVI hep B group has taken a decision and we are now working on the final wording.'

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