Medicine And The Media

Shire Hall Communications and the case for hepatitis B immunisation

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7060.825 (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:825
  1. Douglas Carnall
  1. BMJ

    A week last Friday, Britain woke up and considered its risk of catching hepatitis B over breakfast. By 9 am, no fewer than 26 national and local broadcast bulletins had reported that “top medical experts” were advocating a strategy of universal immunisation in infancy against the virus. In maintaining its current policy of immunising only individuals at higher risk of infection, it was implied, the Department of Health was failing in its important duty to protect children against the disease. The World Health Organisation has recommended a strategy of universal immunisation against hepatitis B, and Britain currently has no prospect of achieving this by 1997.

    There are two reasons why the topic was uppermost in the minds of the media that day. Firstly, SmithKline Beecham, the …

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