Dynavax steps in with Hepatitis B vaccines

April 8, 2020 Off By Dino Mustafić

Dynavax Technologies Corporation said Wednesday it is donating 10,000 doses of HEPLISAV-B adult vaccine to help protect healthcare professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 response against hepatitis B.

Dr. Arun Jesudian, Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medicine, said that the risk of deadly, blood borne pathogens, like hepatitis B, are greatly increased due to the strained operational and infrastructure issues and rapid deployment of surge healthcare professionals into a stressed environment. Jesudian explained that, with a heightened focus on the respiratory transmission of COVID-19, there is the potential to overlook typical precautions in the emergency setting. “This donation of HEPLISAV-B to help prevent hepatitis B is an effective protection measure we can implement immediately to help keep our front-line healthcare workforce safe.”

According to the World Health Organization, there are 257 million people worldwide living with chronic hepatitis B leading to more than 887,000 deaths annually, Dynavax noted. The hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV and there is no cure.

Ryan Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of Dynavax, said: “Thousands are risking their lives by stepping up to join the surge healthcare workforce, many who may not have received a complete hepatitis B vaccine series. We must do our part by protecting them from known, vaccine preventable diseases. That’s why we are donating 10,000 doses of HEPLISAV-B to healthcare providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. “

He said that, as the only Hepatitis B vaccine that offers rapid protection to adults in one month, compared to other hepatitis B vaccines that can take six months or more, Dynavax’s goal is to protect first responders, physicians, nurses, critical care personnel, and hospital staff who deserve every safety measure we can provide.