New guidelines issued by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the United States has recommended that all adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, aged between 19 and 59 and who haven’t been vaccinated before, should receive a jab for hepatitis B.
The organisatio, which reported the news in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, argued that adults should be vaccinated immediately on being diagnosed with diabetes, but that older, unvaccinated diabetic adults should also have a hepatitis B vaccination if their doctor advised it.
The report also claimed that over 15 per cent of adults that have chronic HBV infection go on to develop liver cancer and cirrhosis. With up to 1.4 million people in the US believed to be infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of the health consequences.
Diabetics are at a greater risk from HBV infection, which can be contracted from exposure to minute amounts of blood from sharing a medical or glucose monitoring device with an infected person, especially as the virus can survive outside the body and is easily transmitted. The report therefore recommends proper cleaning and infection-control measures for people who share such devices.
The CDC said “Initiatives are ongoing to improve infection control training of staff responsible for providing or assisting with diabetes care, and to improve the design and labeling of devices used in diabetes monitoring and treatment.”

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