Why Should I Vaccinate My Newborn Child If I Know That I Am Not Infected With Hepatitis B Virus
Before the hepatitis B vaccine, every year in the United States about 18,000 children were infected with hepatitis B virus by the time they were 10 years old. This statistic is especially important because people are much more likely to develop liver cancer or cirrhosis if they are infected early in life, rather than later in life .
About 9,000 of the 18,000 children infected in the first 10 years of life caught the virus from their mother during birth. However, many young children didn’t catch the disease from their mother. They caught it from either another family member or someone else who came in contact with the child. Because hepatitis B can be transmitted by relatively casual contact with items contaminated with blood of an infected person, and because many people who are infected with hepatitis B virus don’t know that they have it, it is virtually impossible to be “careful enough” to avoid this infection.
For these reasons, all young children are recommended to receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The best time to receive the first dose is right after birth. This will ensure that the child will be protected as early as possible from catching hepatitis B from people who dont know that they are infected with the virus.
Listen to Dr. Offit explain why newborns get the hepatitis B vaccine by watching this short video, part of the series Talking About Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit.
Us Infant Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedules
*Please note that the first dose should be given as soon as possible. Additional doses require minimum time intervals between doses in order for the vaccine to be effective.
3-Dose Vaccine Series for Infants
Since 1991, ALL medically stable infants with a birth weight of at least 2,000 g in the U.S. are recommended to receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth. The additional 2 doses are given at 1 month and 6 months of age.
4-Dose Vaccine Combination Series for Infants
Combination vaccines, such as the pentavalent and hexavalent vaccines, include protection against 5 or 6 diseases, including hepatitis B. The first shot is usually given at 6 weeks of age, but in order to protect infants from hepatitis B beginning at birth, a monovalent or single dose of the hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended within 24 hours of birth. The hepatitis B vaccine series can then be completed with the pentavalent or hexavalent vaccine with the recommended schedule.
Who Should Receive Hepatitis B Vaccination
- All newborns before hospital discharge. Infants born to hepatitis B-positive women need hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG within 12 hours of birth.
- All children and adolescents not previously vaccinated.
- Children born in the U.S. to individuals born in a country with high hepatitis B endemicity.
- All individuals at risk of hepatitis B infection:
- Sex partners of hepatitis B-positive persons
- Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
- Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually-transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with men
- Persons who inject drugs
- Household contacts of hepatitis B-positive persons
- Persons born in countries where hepatitis B infection is endemic should be tested and vaccinated if susceptible
- International travelers to regions with high or intermediate rates of endemic hepatitis B infection
- Health care and public safety workers that may be exposed to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
- Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled persons, corrections facilities, and other facilities that serve adults at risk for hepatitis B infection
- Persons with end-stage renal disease, including pre-dialysis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and home dialysis patients
- Persons with chronic liver disease
- Persons to age 60 years with diabetes
- Persons with HIV infection
- All other persons seeking protection from hepatitis B infection.
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Who Should Get The Hbv Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children should get their first hepatitis B vaccine at birth and complete the doses by 6 to 18 months of age. However, the HBV vaccine is still recommended for all children if they havent already gotten it, from infanthood up to 19 years old. Most U.S. states require a hepatitis B vaccine for school admittance, however.
Its also recommended for adults at an increased risk of catching the HBV infection, or anyone who fears they have or will be exposed to it in the near future.
The HBV vaccine is even safe to administer to pregnant women.
Common And Local Adverse Events
HB vaccine is well tolerated. Reactions are generally mild and transient, and include: irritability, headache, fatigue and injection site reactions in 10% or more of recipients.
There is no increase in adverse events when HAHB vaccine is compared with HA vaccine given alone or concomitantly with HB vaccine at a different injection site. When the adult formulation of HAHB vaccine is given to children in the 2 dose schedule, there is no increase in adverse events compared with those occurring after administration of the pediatric formulation of HAHB vaccine.
Reactions are usually mild and transient, and include fever, irritability, restlessness and injection site reactions .
Headache, diarrhea, fever, urticaria, angioedema and injection site reactions may occur.
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Iv1 Efficacy And Effectiveness
HWG’s assessment of evidence on long-term efficacy and effectiveness of HB vaccines in immunocompetent individuals, with particular focus on individuals immunized as infants and HCWs, was based on the findings of a joint Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board/World Health Organization conference, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization updated review of evidence on long-term protection of HBV vaccination, Footnote 32Footnote 33Footnote 34 as well as the results of a meta-analysis conducted by Poorolajal et al. A supplementary literature search of studies published since November 2011 and a request for additional data from HB vaccine manufacturers did not identify any evidence that would suggest reduced long-term vaccine efficacy following immunization in infancy or among HCWs.
In November 2011 and October 2015, a comprehensive review of studies with up to 30 years of follow-up data was presented to WHO. Data on vaccination failures demonstrated that these events were rare and did not result in new clinical cases amongst the vaccinated population. The review did not find evidence for the need for a HB vaccine booster dose in routine immunization programmes.
Fact : The Vaccine Prevents Certain Cancers
HPV is known to cause cancers of the throat, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. The HPV vaccine works very well. Studies have shown that the vaccine provides close to 100% protection against infections and pre-cancers caused by certain types of HPV. Giving the vaccine to boys and girls between 9 and 12 years old can prevent more than 90% of HPV cancers when they get older.
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Active Vaccination To Prevent Infection
Hepatitis B vaccination is available for preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis and provides long-term protection. Hepatitis B vaccines are produced recombinantly in yeast cell systems. The vaccines contain noninfectious HBsAg , a small amount of yeast protein, and aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant. Pediatric formulations contain trace or no thimerosal. Administration is via the intramuscular route. Adverse effects are generally mild and mainly consist of local tenderness and low-grade fever. After a vaccine series, more than 95% seroconversion is achieved, which results in > 90% efficacy. Studies are ongoing to determine length of immunity, but it is at least 20 years.
Two hepatitis B single antigen vaccines are available in the United States: Recombivax from Merck & Co. and Engerix-B from GlaxoSmithKline. Both vaccines come in doses for pediatric and adult populations. High-dose vaccines are available for adult hemodialysis and immunocompromised patients. Both vaccines are given in a three-dose series and are generally interchangeable. A fourth dose may be given if a birth dose was administered. The birth dose must be a single antigen formulation.
Booster doses of hepatitis B vaccine beyond the initial series are generally not recommended. The long incubation period of hepatitis B theoretically allows for the development of a protective anamnestic immune response after exposure.
Fabrizio Fabrizi MD, … Paul Martin MD, in, 2017
Fact : The Vaccine Is Safe
The HPV vaccine has been used since 2006. The vaccine went through extensive safety testing before becoming available. More than 270 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given worldwide, including 120 million doses in the US. Scientists and health organizations around the world closely monitor HPV vaccine safety.
In the US, vaccine safety is watched by several national systems that work together to make sure that any harmful effects of vaccines can be found early. More than 100 studies in millions of people worldwide have all shown that the HPV vaccine is safe.
Like any vaccination, there may be common mild side effects from the HPV vaccine that go away quickly like headache or fever. There can be pain, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given. A small number of people may have a more serious side effect that could occur with any vaccine, such as an allergic reaction or fainting when the vaccine is given. Anyone who has a severe allergy to yeast or any other ingredient in the vaccine should not receive the HPV vaccine.
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Fact : The Hpv Vaccine Can Protect Not Harm Fertility
There are no data to suggest that getting the HPV vaccine will affect your chances of having children later on . In fact, the HPV vaccine can help protect women from future fertility problems linked to cervical cancer and pre-cancer. The HPV vaccine is a safe way to help protect health and the ability to have healthy babies.
Babies And Hepatitis B Vaccination
Pregnant women have a routine blood test for hepatitis B as part of their antenatal care.
Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B need to be given a dose of the hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of their birth, followed by further doses at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, plus a final dose when they’re 1 year old.
Babies of mothers identified by the blood test as particularly infectious might also be given an injection of HBIG at birth on top of the hepatitis B vaccination to give them rapid protection against infection.
All babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B should be tested at 1 year of age to check if they have become infected with the virus.
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Hepatitis B Vaccine On The Nhs
A hepatitis B-containing vaccine is provided for all babies born in the UK on or after 1 August 2017. This is given as part of the 6-in-1 vaccine.
Hospitals, GP surgeries and sexual health or GUM clinics usually provide the hepatitis B vaccination free of charge for anyone at risk of infection.
GPs are not obliged to provide the hepatitis B vaccine on the NHS if you’re not thought to be at risk.
GPs may charge for the hepatitis B vaccine if you want it as a travel vaccine, or they may refer you to a travel clinic for a private vaccination. The current cost of the vaccine is around £50 a dose.
Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
Vaccine providers are asked to report, through local public health officials, any serious or unexpected adverse event temporally related to vaccination. An unexpected AEFI is an event that is not listed in available product information but may be due to the immunization, or a change in the frequency of a known AEFI.
Refer to Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization in Canada and Adverse events following immunization in Part 2 for additional information about AEFI reporting.
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Fact : The Hpv Vaccine Does Not Contain Harmful Ingredients
The ingredients in the HPV vaccine, like all vaccines, help make sure that it is effective and safe. These ingredients occur naturally in the environment, the human body, and foods. For example, the HPV vaccine contains aluminum like the hepatitis B and Tdap vaccines. Aluminum boosts the bodys immune response to the vaccine. People are exposed to aluminum every day through food, cooking utensils, water, and even breast milk. Aluminum-containing vaccines have been used for decades and have been given safely to more than 3 billion people.
What Hepatitis B Immunisation Involves
Full protection involves having 3 injections of the hepatitis B vaccine at the recommended intervals.
Babies born to mothers with hepatitis B infection will be given 6 doses of hepatitis B-containing vaccine to ensure long-lasting protection.
If you’re a healthcare worker or you have kidney failure, you’ll have a follow-up appointment to see if you have responded to the vaccine.
If you have been vaccinated by your employer’s occupational health service, you can request a blood test to see if you have responded to the vaccine.
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Vaccines For Hepatitis A And B
Our immune system battles foreign invaders every day, such as when we get a cold virus. When this happens, we develop immunity to that specific virus. This means that our body will fight off the virus if it is ever exposed to it again.
The same protection happens with vaccines. However, the benefit of a vaccination is that you don’t have to go through being sick to enable your body to fight off disease.
Gregory Poland, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explains that hepatitis vaccinations contain a small amount of the inactive virus. When you get a dose of the vaccine, he says, your immune cells respond by developing immunity against the virus. This immunity lasts over a long period of time.
“So if I get these two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, and then I get exposed 30 years from now, my body will remember that immunity to the vaccine and rapidly start producing antibodies again,” says Poland.
Due to the way hepatitis vaccinations are developed, it is impossible to contract the virus from the vaccine itself, according to Poland.
The hepatitis A vaccine is usually given in two shots and the hepatitis B vaccine is administered as a series of three shots. The most common side effects are redness, pain, and tenderness where the shots are given.
To get long-term protection from these viruses, it’s important to receive all the shots as scheduled. However, if you received one shot and never went back for the others, it’s not too late to catch up.
Vaccine Stops Hepatitis B For 15 Years
Longer Protection May Reduce Need for Booster Shots
The vaccine thwarts the virus that causes hepatitis B, a liver disease that can lead to livercirrhosis or cancer. Most countries include the vaccine in their infant immunization programs. It’s given in a series of three shots and was known to protect against hepatitis B for five to 10 years. But no one knew if it worked beyond that point.
Now, researchers have an answer. The vaccine “strongly protected against infection for at least 15 years in all age groups,” they report.
However, the benefits faded fastest in people vaccinated when they were 4 years old or younger. Researchers will keep an eye on those patients to see if they need additional doses of the vaccine or booster shots in the future.
The news comes from a study of Alaska natives, who have high rates of hepatitis B, with most cases starting in early childhood.
A total of 1,578 people participated.
In the early 1980s, participants were fully vaccinated against hepatitis B. All were at least six months old, and some were in their 20s or older.
After 15 years, the researchers were still in touch with almost half of the group. The vaccine’s protection against infection was still going strong in 84% of those people.
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Do Adults Need Hep A Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children in the United States when they are one year of age, all children and teens through age 18 who were not pre- viously vaccinated, certain children age 6 through 11 months who are traveling outside the U.S., all adults …
Babies And Children Can Develop Chronic Hbv
You may be wondering why the recommendations for the HBV vaccine start on the first day of life.
Adults who contract HBV will likely not experience long-term complications from hepatitis B. But the same is not the case for babies. As many as of babies who contract an HBV infection at birth from their mothers become chronically infected with HBV.
Children between the ages of 1 and 5 who get an HBV infection have a 25 percent of people who become chronically infected during childhood will develop liver cancer or cirrhosis. Thats why pediatricians want children to have immunity from HBV from the earliest possible age. Many babies and children exposed to HBV receive post-exposure prophylaxis, which decreases chance of infection.
If youre pregnant, youll most likely have a blood test to see if youre positive for hepatitis B. This allows doctors to find out if theres a chance that you could pass on the virus. These tests are highly sensitive and have a good accuracy rate, but they arent perfect. Additionally, a pregnant person may become infected between the time of the test and giving birth. The first dose of the vaccine given at birth lowers the risk of a newborn baby contracting hepatitis B.
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Facts About Hepatitis B
- Two billion people, or one in three, have been infected with hepatitis B worldwide. Of these, about 260 million live with chronic hepatitis B.
- Each year about 900,000 people die from hepatitis B worldwide, and about 2,000 of these deaths occur in the United States.
- Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and is 100 times more infectious than HIV. An estimated one billion infectious viruses are in one-fifth of a teaspoon of blood of an infected person, so exposure to even a minute amount, such as on a shared toothbrush can cause infection.
- Hepatitis B is sometimes referred to as the silent epidemic because most people who are infected do not experience any symptoms.
- Liver cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths throughout the world, behind lung, colorectal and stomach cancers.
- Almost half of liver cancers are caused by chronic infection with hepatitis B.
- The World Health Organization recommends the inclusion of hepatitis B vaccine in immunization programs of all countries in 2017, about 8 of 10 infants born throughout the world received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.