Why Do You Need A Hepatitis B Shot
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that cant be transferred person-to-person unless you have contact with an infected persons bodily fluids. Annual infection rates of HBV are going down in the United States thanks to vaccines. So you might be wondering if you or your child needs a shot to protect against hepatitis B.
Hepatitis A And B Vaccine Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
numbness, pain, tingling, weakness, burning or prickly feeling, vision or hearing problems, trouble breathing
red or blistering skin rash or
easy bruising or bleeding .
Common side effects of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may include:
redness or tenderness where the shot was given
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule For Adults
Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that involves inflammation of the liver.
The hepatitis B virus usually leads to a short-term infection known as acute hepatitis B. If their infection is left untreated, some people develop chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B is a serious, permanent condition that can cause organ damage, cirrhosis , liver cancer, liver failure, and even death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , all people should be vaccinated against hepatitis B starting at birth. Adults who are at risk of developing hepatitis B should also receive the vaccine, which is highly effective in preventing infection.
Read on to learn more about the hepatitis B vaccine for adults, including who should receive it, the details of the dosage schedule, side effects, and more.
Prasit photo / Getty Images
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Eating Diet And Nutrition For Hepatitis B
If you have hepatitis B, you should eat a balanced, healthy diet. Obesity can increase the chance of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , and NAFLD can increase liver damage in people who have hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.
You should also avoid alcohol because it can cause more liver damage.
What Is Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B virus attacks the liver. Hepatitis B virus infections are known as the “silent epidemic” because many infected people don’t experience symptoms until decades later when they develop hepatitis , cirrhosis , or cancer of the liver . Every year in the United States about 22,000 new hepatitis B infections occur and about 2,000 people die from their infections.
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Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis B
Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis B. Many people who have hepatitis B dont have symptoms and dont know they are infected with hepatitis B. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis B, which can lower your chances of developing serious health problems.
Your doctor may recommend screening for hepatitis B if you9,14
- were born in an area of the world where 2 percent or more of the population has hepatitis B infection, which includes Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America
- didnt receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an infant and have parents who were born in an area where 8 percent or more of the population had hepatitis B infection, which includes sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia
- are HIV-positive
- are a man who has sex with men
- have lived with or had sex with a person who has hepatitis B
- have an increased chance of infection due to other factors
What Are Clinical Trials For Hepatitis B
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of hepatitis B, such as
- progression of hepatitis B and long-term outcomes
- new treatments for hepatitis B
- prevention of reactivated or worsening hepatitis B in people receiving cancer treatment
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What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus . The infection can range in severity from mild to acute. It may last just a few weeks or become a serious, chronic, and potentially fatal health condition.
The best way to prevent this infection is to get the hepatitis B vaccine. Heres what you need to know.
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
It is important that infants who are born to females with hepatitis B receive accurate doses of the hepatitis B vaccine. They may also be required to receive hepatitis B immunoglobulin if it is available.
The WHO also recommends using antiviral prophylaxis to help prevent hepatitis B transmission.
The table below outlines the two recommended hepatitis B vaccine schedules for infants born to those who have hepatitis B:
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What Are Warnings And Precautions For Hepatitis B Vaccine
This medication contains the hepatitis b vaccine. Do not take Engerix B or Recombivax HB if you are allergic to the hepatitis b vaccine or any ingredients contained in this drug.
Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.
- See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Hepatitis B Vaccine?”
- See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Hepatitis B Vaccine?”
- Not protective against hepatitis A, C, or E
- Gluteal muscle injection is not recommended
- Heptavax B is no longer used in the US
Pregnancy and Lactation
- Use the hepatitis B vaccine during pregnancy with caution if the benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies were done.
- It is not known if the hepatitis B vaccine is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Intradermal Administration Of The Vaccine
Multiple studies have exploited the fact that a large number of antigen presenting dendritic cells reside in the skin, specifically the dermis. These cells then activate the immunogenic cells in the corresponding lymph node where they drain. This presentation of antigen into the dermis enhances the potential for activation of the immune cascade and development of protective antibodies.
Rahman et al compared the efficacy of intradermal vaccine and showed that it resulted in a significantly higher immune response as compared to IM form. Both T and B cell response were higher with intradermal form as compared to IM form, suggesting that the intradermal presentation of the antigen to Langerhans cells in the dermis might result in trapping of the antigen in the skin resulting in a more robust and more sustained humoral and cell mediated response.
Forty-two chronic liver disease patients who had not responded to standard 40 mg three doses and booster doses were treated by Dhillon et al using 40 mg intradermally for a maximum of three doses and seroconversion was seen in 29 of the 42 patients in their study with 15 of the patients developing a robust response.
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Interchangeability And Dosing Schedule
- 2-dose HepB vaccine series only applies when both doses consist of HepB-CpG, administered at least 4 weeks apart.
- Series consisting of a combination of 1 dose of HepB-CpG and a vaccine from a different manufacturer should do the following:
- Adhere to the 3-dose schedule minimum intervals of 4 weeks between dose 1 and 2, 8 weeks between dose 2 and 3, and 16 weeks between dose 1 and 3. However, if HepB-CpG is substituted for dose 2 of HepB-alum, a provider has the option of administering the next dose of HepB-CpG a minimum of 4 weeks from the previous dose for a complete series.
Where Can I Get More Information
- Your vaccination provider, pharmacist, or doctor can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Are Hepatitis B Virus Infections Easily Avoided
Large quantities of hepatitis B virus are present in the blood of people with hepatitis B in fact, as many as one billion infectious viruses can be found in a milliliter of blood from an infected individual. Therefore, hepatitis B virus is transmitted in the blood of infected individuals during activities that could result in exposure to blood, such as intravenous drug use, tattooing, or sex with people who are infected. However, it is also possible to catch hepatitis B virus through more casual contact, such as sharing washcloths, toothbrushes or razors. In each of these cases, unseen amounts of blood can contain enough viral particles to cause infection. In addition, because many people who are infected don’t know that they are infected, it is very hard to avoid the chance of getting infected with hepatitis B virus.
How Common Is Hepatitis B
One U.S. study following trends in hepatitis B infection over a three-year periodfound that 4.3% of the population had a past or present HBV infection.
Estimates suggest that about 240 million people around the world have chronic hepatitis B. Up to 1.89 million people in the United States have a chronic HBV infection.
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How Do You Catch Hepatitis B Virus
Blood from a person infected with hepatitis B virus is heavily contaminated with the virus. As a result, contact with blood is the most likely way to catch hepatitis B. Even casual contact with the blood of someone who is infected can cause infection.
Healthcare workers are at high risk of catching the disease, as are intravenous drug users and newborns of mothers infected with the virus. Sexual contact can also expose people to infection. The virus is also present in low levels in saliva.
Dosage Forms & Strengths
belimumab decreases effects of hepatitis b vaccine by immunosuppressive effects risk of infection. Contraindicated. Do not administer live vaccines 30 days before or concurrently with belimumab.
Serious – Use Alternative
chloroquine decreases effects of hepatitis b vaccine by pharmacodynamic antagonism. Minor/Significance Unknown.
ozanimod decreases effects of hepatitis b vaccine by immunosuppressive effects risk of infection. Minor/Significance Unknown. No clinical data are available on the efficacy and safety of vaccinations in patients taking ozanimod. Vaccinations may be less effective if coadministered with ozanimod.
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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.
Reduce Your Chance Of Infection
You can reduce your chance of hepatitis B infection by
- not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
- wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
- making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools
- not sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
- using a latex or polyurethane condom during sex
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How To Get Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B
All babies in the UK born on or after 1 August 2017 are given 3 doses of hepatitis B-containing vaccine as part of the NHS routine vaccination schedule.
These doses are given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.
Babies at high risk of developing hepatitis B infection from infected mothers are given extra doses of the hepatitis B vaccine at birth, 4 weeks and 1 year of age.
If you think you’re at risk and need the hepatitis B vaccine, ask your GP to vaccinate you, or visit any sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinic.
If your job places you at risk of hepatitis B infection, it’s your employer’s responsibility to arrange vaccination for you, rather than your GP. Contact your occupational health department.
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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Before Taking This Medicine
Hepatitis A and B vaccine will not protect you against infection with hepatitis C or E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It will also not protect you from hepatitis A or B if you are already infected with the virus, even if you do not yet show symptoms.
You should not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to yeast or neomycin, or if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing hepatitis A or hepatitis B.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an allergy to latex rubber or
a weak immune system .
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What To Do If You Miss A Scheduled Dose
The recommended schedule for the HBV vaccine follows a three-dose pattern, with all doses complete within 6 months. The good news is that if you miss a dose, you dont need to start the series of shots all over.
If you missed getting the second dose 1 month after the first, make an appointment as soon as possible. If you miss the third dose, you should also try to get it as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the second and third doses
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Screen For Contraindications And Precautions
- Do not administer Heplisav-B to individuals with a history of severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of any hepatitis B vaccine or to any component of Heplisav-B, including yeast.
- Consult the package insert for precautions, warnings, and contraindications and Hepatitis B Vaccine Safety for additional information and possible side effects.
Recommended Adult Dosing Volume Of Monovalent Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Age 19 years and younger: Use 0.5 mL per dose .
- Age 20 years and older: 1.0 mL per dose .
For a one-page sheet reviewing the hepatitis B dosing schedule for children and adults, consult IACs Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: Be Sure Your Patients Get the Correct Dose. For complete dosing information, consult the ACIP hepatitis B vaccine recommendations for adults.
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Does Hepatitis B Go Away
In most cases, hepatitis B goes away on its own. You can relieve your symptoms at home by resting, eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. Also, find out from your doctor what medicines and herbal products to avoid, because some can make liver damage caused by hepatitis B worse.
Dose And Administration Of Hepatitis B Vaccine
The dose for Engerix-B and Recombivax HB is 0.5 mL IM up to age 20 years or 1 mL IM for adults . The dose for HepB-CpG is 0.5 mL IM for adults 18 years.
The vaccine is typically given to children in a 3-dose series at age 0 months, at 1 to 2 months, and at 6 to 18 months.
Infants who did not receive a dose a birth should begin the series as soon as feasible.
All children not previously vaccinated with HepB vaccine should be vaccinated at age 11 or 12 years. A 3-dose schedule is used the first and second doses are separated by 4 weeks, and the third dose is given 4 to 6 months after the second dose. However, a 2-dose schedule using Recombivax HB can be used the second dose is given 4 to 6 months after the first.
Adults age 19 through 59 years who have not been previously vaccinated should complete a 2- or 3-, or 4-dose series. The usual schedule for adults using Engerix-B or Recombivax HB is a 3-dose series with 2 doses separated by 4 weeks, and a third dose 4 to 6 months after the second dose. HepB-CpG is given in 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart and can be given as a substitute in a 3-dose series with a different HepB vaccine.
HepB-CpG should not be given during pregnancy because safety data are not available on its use during pregnancy.
Unvaccinated adults who are being treated with hemodialysis or who are immunocompromised should be given 2 doses of Engerix-B 20 mcg/mL given simultaneously in a 4-dose schedule at 0, 1, 2, and 6 months.