Rep. Johnson Introduces Resolution to Recognize April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day
Congressman Offers Bicameral Resolution With New York Congresswoman Grace Meng
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06) introduced a resolution to designate April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day.
The resolution raises awareness for the hepatitis B vaccination. Despite the availability of safe, effective and low-cost vaccines, only 25 percent of adults are vaccinated against hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and can lead to co-infections with hepatitis C, diabetes, and HIV. With the rise of opioid crisis, this vaccine-preventable disease has spread rapidly across the country.
“Today, we introduced H. Res. 331 to mark April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day,” said Rep. Johnson, who is both a champion for hepatitis patients and a survivor of Hepatitis C. “Chronic hepatitis B affects millions of Americans each year, and we’ve seen a significant rise in acute outbreaks closely related to the opioid epidemic. Medical care for hepatitis B is costly and many with this disease develop life threatening diseases, such as cancer. Fortunately, we have an effective, affordable vaccination. This resolution works to raise awareness of the risks of hepatitis B and the benefits of widespread vaccination. We have developed the tools to eliminate hepatitis – now we just need to implement them. By designating April 30 as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day, we hope to encourage every citizen to check their vaccination status and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones from this disease.”
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Hepatitis Caucus, I am committed to raising awareness of and supporting solutions that seek to combat hepatitis B,” said Rep. Meng. “It is an honor to partner with my fellow Co-Chair Congressman Hank Johnson to introduce this resolution that would designate April 30th as National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day. There are nearly 2.2 million individuals in the United States with hepatitis B, many of whom are unaware that they’re infected with the virus - which is why it is called the “silent killer”. Hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure if left untreated. That is why we must increase awareness of hepatitis B, and the importance of getting tested. I am hopeful that our resolution can help accomplish these goals, and I urge all of my colleagues to support it. I look forward to the measure making its way through the House.”
H. Res. 331 has the support of seven other members in the House. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii has introduced a Senate companion resolution.