The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in a myriad of interventions with the urgent aim of reducing the public health impact of this virus. However, a wealth of evidence both from high-income and low-income countries is accruing on the broader consequences of such interventions on economic and public health inequalities, as well as on pre-existing programmes targeting endemic pathogens. We provide an overview of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on hepatitis B virus (HBV) programmes globally, focusing on the possible consequences for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Ongoing disruptions to infrastructure, supply chains, services and interventions for HBV are likely to contribute disproportionately to the short-term incidence of chronic hepatitis B, providing a long-term source of onward transmission to future generations that threatens progress towards the 2030 elimination goals.
- viral hepatitis
- public health
- prevention strategies
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Handling editor Seye Abimbola
Twitter @c_pley, @pippa_matt
Contributors CMP and JL planned the research. CMP performed the research with supervision of ALM, PM and JL. CMP, ALM, PM and JL planned and created the visualisations. CMP wrote the first draft. All authors revised the manuscript.
Funding PCM is funded by a Wellcome intermediate fellowship; grant ref. 110110/Z/15/Z. ALM is funded by the NIHR. JL is supported by a lectureship from the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Data availability statement There are no data in this work.
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