Hepatitis B Vaccine – Helpful Information to Prevent the Virus
Summary: Hepatitis B vaccine is offered to prevent Hepatitis B which is a life threatening liver infection. Hepatitis B virus spreads upon direct contact with the blood or the body fluids of the infected person and is said to affect more than 2 billion people worldwide. It is one of the fast spreading diseases which can be prevented using the vaccine only.
Hepatitis B vaccine is developed to prevent Hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis B virus is a life threatening virus which leads to chronic liver diseases and puts the life of people at a high risk of death. It is global health problem and is estimated to affect around 2 billion people worldwide. There are more than 350 million people who have long time chronic live infections.
The vaccine for Hepatitis is available since 1982 which is said to be 95% effective to prevent Hepatitis B virus infection and similar chronic consequences. The vaccine is said to show immense effectiveness and safety with a record of over one billion doses around the world.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can cause short term illness which leads to loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice and pain in muscles, joints and stomach. It can even cause long term chronic illness which leads to liver damage, liver cancer and death.
Hepatitis B vaccine – What is it for?
Hepatitis B vaccine is the first anti-cancer vaccine which is used to prevent Hepatitis B infection in the form of liver cancer. A person can be infected through the blood and body fluids of the infected person. The virus can spread while having unprotected sex, sharing needles, using used needles and during birth from the mother to the child.
Hepatitis B vaccine should be administered for everyone above 18 years. The virus is more prone in adults, who have more than one sex partner in every six months, sex contacts of infected people, people who use illegal drugs, health care workers who are exposed to infected blood and body fluids and haemodialysis patients.
- Within 12 hours of birth to infants whose mother is infected by the virus.
- Between birth and 3 months to infants whose mother is not infected by the virus.
- Anytime to older children, adolescent or adult.
The second dose of the vaccine is given:
- Between 1 – 2 months of age to infants whose mother is infected by the virus.
- Between 1 – 4 months of age to infants whose mother is not infected by the virus.
- After 1 – 2 months after the first dose to children, adolescents and adults.
The third dose of the vaccine is given:
- At 6 months of age for infants whose mother is infected by the virus.
- Between 6 – 18 months for infants whose mother is not infected by the virus.
- After 4 – 6 months after the second dose to children, adolescents and adults.
In rare cases, people affected with the virus may develop serious reaction to the Hepatitis B vaccine. In such cases, it is necessary to contact your doctor or a member of the state health department.