Do you know what the one potentially life-threatening reason for the liver infection is? The answer is Hepatitis B Virus. Hepatitis B is a vital, life-threatening liver disease whose source is the Hepatitis B virus, aka HBV. It’s a global health concern that can cause chronic infectious conditions in people, resulting in cirrhosis and liver cancer.
In 2019, WHO evaluates that almost 296 million people live with chronic hepatitis B infection with 1.5 million new contagions each year. In 2018, CDC in the USA recorded 3,322 cases of acute hepatitis B with an overall incidence rate of 1.0 cases per 100,000 American population. However, you can prevent the condition with your best defense: the hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccines are safe, available, and efficient in inhibiting HBV.
In this article, we will explore all you should know about the hepatitis B vaccine.
What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver infection that can range in severity from mild to acute. The hepatitis B virus is the leading cause of this infection that can cause severe conditions from liver cirrhosis to liver cancer. Typically, there are two types of infections HBV can cause acute or short-term infection and chronic or long-term infection.
Acute Or Short-term Illness
Acute illness is a short-term condition that is more common among adults. It can lead to the following diseases-
- Diarrhea and stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle and joints pain
Chronic or Long-term Illness
Often people develop long-term HBV infections that can be severe and life-threatening. People carrying HBV infections but no visible symptoms or sickness often can spread the diseases without their knowledge. Chronic illness is primarily common with infants and children than adults.
Chronic infection can lead to the following diseases-
- Liver damage (cirrhosis)
- Liver cancer
The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is the principal prevention of HBV infection. Often it’s known by its trade name- Recombivax HB. In 1991, the regular hepatitis B vaccine began for U.S. children officially. Since then, the spreading of HBV infection has decreased profoundly.
Do you know what is used to make the hepatitis B vaccine? A part of the hepatitis B virus!!! Don’t worry; this part cannot cause any infection to the human body. Typically, you have to take the vaccine as a series of 3 or 4 shots that protect for at least ten years, possibly a lifetime.
All You Should Know About Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is your best warrior against hepatitis B infection. However, can you take the vaccine? How many shots do you need to take? Or how effective is the vaccine against HBV? What are the pros and cons of hepatitis B vaccines? Before you consider the hepatitis B vaccine, there are several points you need to ponder. Consult your doctor, who can guide you on the right path to the hepatitis b vaccination vault.
At My Concierge MD, the health care providers specialize in providing you the most reliable administration about your health and the hepatitis B vaccine. Now, let’s learn the essential element you should know about the hepatitis B vaccine.
Who Should Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that all infants and people with several conditions receive hepatitis B vaccination.
The CDC recommends that children should receive their first hepatitis B vaccine at birth. By the age of 6 to 18, the CDC recommends all children complete their vaccination doses. Children who didn’t get their vaccination at birth or up to 19 years old should also take the vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccination is one of the requirements of many schools in the U.S. during school admission.
The CDC recommends that all adults at risk for HBV infection must take the hepatitis B vaccine. These people include-
- People with chronic liver or kidney diseases
- People with more than one sex companion
- Sex partners with HBV infection
- People who use street drugs
- Men with male sexual partners
- People with exposure to human blood due to work
- Kidney dialysis patients
- People who frequently travel, especially to places with HBV spreading
- people with HIV infection
- kidney dialysis patients
However, you can also take vaccines whether or not you have these reasons. In addition, Pregnant women can take the vaccine at the brisk of HBV spreading; there is no acute danger in taking the vaccine for them.
Who Should Not Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine?
Though the CDC recommends all unvaccinated adults take the shots, people with few conditions are there who can not take the vaccine.
- People with a life-threatening allergy or allergic to the components of the vaccine
- People with a life-threatening reaction to the previous dose
- People with severe illness during the scheduled shots of the vaccine
The Licensed Hepatitis B Vaccines
Three single-antigen vaccines and two combination vaccines are licensed in the United States currently. The single-antigen hepatitis B vaccines are-
- RECOMBIVAX HB®
The Combination vaccines are-
PEDIARIX®: combined hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP), and inactivated poliovirus (IPV) vaccine.
It must be administered after age six weeks or before age seven years.
TWINRIX®: Combined Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine. It is recommended for people below or equal to 18 years who are at increased risk for HAV and HBV infections.
When and How You Should Take The Vaccine?
The hepatitis B vaccine protects people from HBV infection. When you get the vaccine, your body creates active immunity and develops antibodies against the hepatitis B virus. You need to take the hepatitis B vaccine as a series of 2, 3, or 4 shots (injection). Usually, the shots are given in the upper arm or leg to provide long-lasting immunity.
For infants and children, all babies need to take three doses:
- The time between the first and second shot should be at least one month.
- The second and third shots should be at least two months gap. Ideally, they should be at least four months.
- At least four months should pass between the first and third shots.
- Premature babies may need a fourth shot.
Suppose the vaccination series is discontinued and the spacing between doses is more prolonged than recommended. In that case, it is not necessary to start the series over or add more quantities. The series should be completed from where it was disrupted.
How Helpful Is The Vaccine?
The hepatitis B vaccine provides long-term protection from hepatitis B infection, possibly life-long. Research of 2016 suggests vaccines protect those who had started the hepatitis B vaccination before they were six months old for at least 30 long years against HBV infection.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: How Long Does It Last?
As mentioned above, the vaccines’ protection lasts for at least 30 years among healthy people who started vaccination at six months of age. The vaccines work perfectly against clinical illness and chronic hepatitis B virus infections. Most importantly, your active immunity persists even if your antibody level may decrease detectably.
Suppose you have missed your dose, or there is an interruption between doses. Now, what is the hepatitis b vaccine schedule for adults’ missed doses? Does the vaccine series need to be restarted? To simply answer, NO. You do not need to restart your vaccination all over again. However, there are few things that you should follow-
- If your vaccine series interrupts after the first dose, the second dose should be administered as soon as possible.
- The second and third doses should be distributed over at least eight weeks.
- If only the third dose is interrupted, it should be administered as soon as possible.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: Side Effects
Usually, there are no significant side effects recorded due to hepatitis B vaccination. Maximum patients encounter a sore arm from the injection site. However, every individual is unique, and so is his response. SO, you may face some mild consequences that include-
- Fatigue, nausea
- Redness, itching, and swelling in the injection area
- Sore throat
- A high fever
- A runny or stuffy nose
- a fast heartbeat
The hepatitis B vaccine presents protection of almost 90 percent against the hepatitis B virus infection. However, do you know all you should know about the hepatitis B vaccine?