Hepatitis B vaccination is important to get complete protection against Hepatitis B virus which can cause chronic liver disease. Read on to get complete information about Hep B vaccination.
Hepatitis B (Hep B) is a serious chronic liver disease caused by Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) leading to scarring of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hep B spreads by infected blood, open sores, semen, and vaginal secretions. This can be transmitted through unsafe sex, sharing needles, toothbrushes, or even razors. Many never feel sick and do not know if they are affected unless some serious liver damage occurs. The best way to prevent this disease is to get vaccinated by Hep B vaccine. Hep B vaccine contains purified HBsAg particles prepared through recombinant DNA technology in yeast, and is considered one of the safest vaccines ever made.
What Is the Recommended Dosage?
Three shots are all you need to protect your family from HBV. It is generally given intramuscular in the anterolateral aspect of thigh or in the deltoid muscle in older children.
What Is the Recommended Schedule?
Recommended schedules are as follows:
0-19 years: 0, 1, 6 months
11-15 years: 0, 4, 6 months (2-shot series)
Adults of and above 20 years: 0, 1, 6 months
Predialysis and dialysis patients: 0, 1, 6 months
Catch-up vaccination is recommended if anyone has not completed the series.
Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?
Hep B Vaccines for Infants
The younger a child is infected the serious chronic liver disease he or she faces in future. They can be infected if an infected toddler bites them or if they come in contact with other infected person. It is advised for the newborns to get vaccinated with first dose at birth in hospital.
Hep B Vaccine for Preteens and Teens
Preteens and teens are strongly advised to get vaccinated if have not been dosed earlier. Getting a tattoo, body-piercing, sharing razors, sharing toothbrushes, etc. increase the risk for Hep B in many children.
Hep B Vaccine for Adults
Adults are at increased risk if they have unsafe sex, have multiple sex partners, have homosexual activity, inject drugs or share needles or syringes, have any sexually transmitted disease (STD), are hemodialysis patients or have end-stage renal disease, have HIV infection, are diabetic, live with someone who is already infected with chronic HBV, travel to countries exposed to high rates of HBV, are exposed to job that deals contact with human blood, etc. It is strongly advised to get vaccinated even if you do not fall in these categories; it is always better to be safe.
Hep B Vaccines for Elder Adults Above 65 years
It is too late if you are above 65 years and yet not vaccinated. You must talk to your healthcare professional to see if you should be or not.
Is Hep B Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women?
Hep B vaccines are safe for pregnant women, and the later are screened for HBV. If you test positive for HBV, then your baby should get injected with Hep B Immune Globulin (HBIG) as well as Hep B vaccine to provide short-term protection within 12 hours of birth. Pregnant women should take such vaccinations after consulting their obstetrician.
Who Should Avoid Getting Hep B Vaccine?
You or your child or anyone cannot get vaccinated under the following conditions:
Having a life-threatening allergy to yeast or any other ingredient of the vaccine
Having a serious allergy to the earlier dose of Hep B vaccine
Severely ill during the dose schedule
Are There Any Side-Effects of Hep B Vaccination?
Some children can feel soreness or swelling at the site of injection and few can develop a mild fever. But this vaccine has no serious side effects. Allergic reactions are rare but can happen with any vaccine. You must see your healthcare provider if you find anything uneasy during the vaccination. But never ignore the importance of this vaccine, so you must go for it and make sure to protect your child against such serious illness.
Why is Hepatitis B Vaccination important? Who should not take Hepatitis B vaccination? How does Hepatitis B or Hep B virus spread? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team