Sending Office: Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Sent By:
Chelsea.Grey@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Designate April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day!

Over 75 supporting organizations including Hepatitis B Foundation, American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association! (contact our office for the full list)

Details for April 30 Hep B briefing below; lunch will be served. 

Dear Colleague,

We request your support for designating April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day. Up to 2.2 million individuals in the United States are currently infected with chronic hepatitis B, which is a viral infection of the liver transmitted
via blood and other body fluids, including mother-to-child transmission and injection drug use.

Hepatitis B represents one of the leading causes of liver cancer, and 1 in 4 individuals with unmanaged chronic hepatitis B will develop liver cancer, cirrhosis and/or liver failure, with liver cancer only having an 18 percent 5-year survival rate in the
United States. Individuals with diabetes, HIV, hepatitis C, chronic liver disease, and those on hemodialysis are at increased risk of being infected with hepatitis B, and two-thirds of individuals with hepatitis B in the United States are unaware of their
infection.

Nationwide, newly diagnosed cases of hepatitis B rose 20 percent in 2015, with significant regional rises, largely driven by the opioid epidemic, in conjunction with extremely low adult hepatitis B vaccination rates. Acute hepatitis B increased 729 percent
in Maine from 2015-2017, 114 percent in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia from 2009-2013, 78 percent in Southeastern Massachusetts in 2017, and 62 percent in North Carolina from 2012-2016.

Although safe and effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis B are currently available, only 25 percent of adults are currently vaccinated against hepatitis B in the United States. While hepatitis B has a vaccine to prevent infection, there is no cure, and
individuals with chronic hepatitis B require lifelong medical care.

The hepatitis B vaccine was the first anti-cancer vaccine to be developed and significant progress was made with childhood vaccination against hepatitis B in the United States since clinical guidelines recommended universal childhood vaccination starting
in the 1990s. While the hepatitis B vaccine is 95 percent effective and is projected to prevent 310 million cases of hepatitis B worldwide by 2020, adult hepatitis B vaccination rates have remained low for those born before the 1990s in the United States.
Low vaccination rates among adults have resulted in recent alarming rises in acute hepatitis B infections, particularly in the setting of the opioid epidemic.

There is great opportunity to stem the rise in new hepatitis B infections in the United States and achieve hepatitis B elimination by significantly increasing hepatitis B vaccination. We ask that you join us in designating April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis
B Vaccination Awareness Day. This resolution will bring awareness of the need to increase adult hepatitis B vaccination and testing and maintain childhood hepatitis B vaccination, in order to reduce the number of new hepatitis B infections and hepatitis B-related
deaths in the United States.

We currently have over 75 organizations that have endorsed this resolution, and hope that you will be able to support this resolution by becoming a co-sponsor.

We would also like to invite you and your staff to a lunch briefing on April 30 from 12-1 pm in Rayburn 2203 on Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination, in coordination with the introduction of this resolution.

If you are interested in becoming a co-sponsor of this resolution, please contact Chelsea Grey in Congressman Hank Johnson’s office (chelsea.grey@mail.house.gov) or Jacqueline Hsieh in Congresswoman Grace
Meng’s office (jacqueline.hsieh@mail.house.gov).

 

Sincerely,

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.                                                       Grace Meng

Member of Congress                                                                    Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Family Issues, HealthCare

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