SENATE RESOLUTION 177--EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGNATION OF APRIL 30, 2019, AS ``NATIONAL ADULT HEPATITIS B VACCINATION AWARENESS DAY''; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 70
(Senate - April 30, 2019)

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SENATE RESOLUTION 177--EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGNATION OF APRIL 
 30, 2019, AS ``NATIONAL ADULT HEPATITIS B VACCINATION AWARENESS DAY''

  Ms. HIRONO (for herself and Mr. King) submitted the following 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, 
Labor, and Pensions:

                              S. Res. 177

       Whereas as many as 2,200,000 individuals in the United 
     States are chronically infected with hepatitis B, and as many 
     as \2/3\ of those individuals are unaware of the infection;
       Whereas hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver that 
     is transmitted via infected blood and other bodily fluids, 
     including through--
       (1) mother-to-child transmission; and
       (2) injection drug use;
       Whereas individuals with chronic diseases, such as 
     diabetes, HIV, hepatitis C, and chronic liver disease, and 
     individuals on hemodialysis, are at an increased risk for 
     hepatitis B co-infection;
       Whereas there is no cure for hepatitis B, and individuals 
     with chronic hepatitis B require lifelong medical care;
       Whereas chronic hepatitis B is a common cause of liver 
     cancer;
       Whereas 1 in every 4 individuals with unmanaged chronic 
     hepatitis B will develop liver cancer, cirrhosis, or liver 
     failure, with liver cancer having a 5-year survival rate of 
     only 18 percent in the United States;
       Whereas safe and highly effective vaccines to protect 
     against hepatitis B are available;
       Whereas, in accordance with universal childhood hepatitis B 
     vaccination recommendations in the United States, infants and 
     children in the United States have routinely been vaccinated 
     against hepatitis B since the 1990s;
       Whereas the hepatitis B vaccine, which is 95 percent 
     effective and was the first anticancer vaccine to be 
     developed, is projected to prevent 310,000,000 cases of 
     hepatitis B worldwide from 1990 to 2020;
       Whereas only 25 percent of adults in the United States are 
     vaccinated against hepatitis B;
       Whereas the number of reported acute hepatitis B cases 
     increased by 20 percent nationwide in 2015;
       Whereas, as a result of the opioid epidemic, there have 
     been significant regional increases in acute hepatitis B 
     cases in the United States, including--
       (1) a reported 729 percent increase from 2015 to 2017 in 
     Maine;
       (2) a reported 114 percent increase from 2009 to 2013 in 
     Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee;
       (3) a reported 78 percent increase in 2017 in southeastern 
     Massachusetts; and
       (4) a reported 62 percent increase from 2012 to 2016 in 
     North Carolina;
       Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and 
     Prevention, hepatitis B is 50 to 100 times more infectious 
     than HIV, and 5 to 10 times more infectious than hepatitis C; 
     and
       Whereas there are significant opportunities, particularly 
     within the setting of the opioid epidemic, to prevent new 
     hepatitis B infections, and thereby reduce the incidence of 
     liver cancer and cirrhosis, through efforts to--
       (1) increase adult hepatitis B vaccination; and
       (2) maintain childhood hepatitis B vaccination: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) supports the designation of April 30, 2019, as 
     ``National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day'';
       (2) recognizes the importance of providing support and 
     encouragement--
       (A) for all individuals to be tested for hepatitis B;
       (B) for individuals susceptible to infection to be 
     vaccinated against hepatitis B; and
       (C) for individuals diagnosed with hepatitis B to be linked 
     to appropriate care; and
       (3) in order to reduce the number of new hepatitis B 
     infections and hepatitis B-related deaths, encourages a 
     commitment to--
       (A) increasing adult hepatitis B vaccination rates;
       (B) maintaining childhood hepatitis B vaccination rates; 
     and
       (C) promoting provider and community awareness of adult 
     hepatitis B vaccination.

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