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No link between MS and hepatitis B vaccine

A World Health Organisation review has ruled out any link between hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis, clearing the way for the vaccine to be introduced into the UK childhood immunisation schedule.

The review, published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis (September), found 'consistent and reasonably reliable' research that failed to find conclusive evidence of the alleged association.

Its findings will feed into a decision expected soon from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation over adding the hepatitis B jab to the childhood schedule.

In 1996, researchers in France raised fears over a possible link between hepatitis B vaccine and demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The resulting scare prompted the French authorities to suspend the routine school-based immunisation programme for adolescents.

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