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.
How Safe Is The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is totally safe for most people. Most babies, kids, and adults have no problems at all when they get the vaccine. In fact, more than 100 million people in the U.S. have gotten the hepatitis B vaccine.
Like all medicines, the hepatitis B vaccine may have some mild side effects: soreness, change in skin color, swelling, or itching around where you get the shot, or a slight fever. But these things arent serious and usually go away pretty quickly. Theres an extremely small risk of having an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
If you get dizzy, feel your heart beating really fast, have a high fever, feel weak, break out in hives, or have trouble breathing, get medical help right away. But again, the risk of having an allergy is super small.
You CANT get hepatitis from the hepatitis vaccine.
Routine Administration Schedule For Hepatitis B Vaccine In Adults
- The dosing schedule is 0, 1 to 2 months, and 4 to 6 months.
- There is some flexibility in the schedule, but be sure to keep in mind the minimum intervals between doses:
- At least four weeks between doses #1 and #2
- At least eight weeks between doses #2 and #3
- At least 16 weeks between doses #1 and #3
- If your patient falls behind on the hepatitis B vaccination schedule , continue vaccinating from where your patient left off. The series does NOT need to be restarted.
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The Hepatitis B Vaccine And Immunosuppressants
If you are taking or about to start taking a medication that suppresses your immune response, let your healthcare provider know. Immunosuppressants may make certain vaccines less effective. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you get the hepatitis B vaccine at a particular time during your course of medication.
Hav Hazards In The Workplace
Pupils with mental or physical disabilities are diapered, washed, fed, probed and catheterized by the staff. The regular performance of these activities entails a risk of infection for pathogens that are excreted via the stool. Possible contact can occur here, for example, during assisted toilet use, incontinence care or intimate hygiene. Nevertheless, contact can also occur with nasal secretions, saliva or infected blood during wound care. Claus et al. showed that many pupils at special schools with focus on mental or physical disabilities could not follow elementary hygiene rules, so that body excretions remain on hands, body and objects. There would therefore be an uncontrollable, increased risk of both contact and smear infections and those transmitted via droplet infection.
In the context of the present survey, about 10% of the employees at special schools with a focus on mental or physical disabilities perform catheterization, predominantly by educational specialists. In contrast, 26% of the respondents in the study of Claus et al. stated that they catheterized pupils. This difference could be caused by the fact that the study by Claus et al. was based on a self-selective sample of special schools, resulting in the participation of schools mainly for pupils with severe disabilities.
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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.
Do The Benefits Of The Hepatitis B Vaccine Outweigh Its Risks
Every year in the United States about 2,000 people die following an overwhelming hepatitis B virus infection. In addition, every year about 22,000 people are infected with hepatitis B. Some of them will remain chronically infected, putting them at high risk of the long-term consequences of hepatitis B virus infection: cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, with the exception of influenza and COVID-19 viruses, hepatitis B virus causes more severe disease and death in the United States than any other vaccine-preventable disease. On the other hand, the hepatitis B vaccine is an extremely rare cause of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. To date, no one has died from this reaction, but it is theoretically possible that this could occur.
Because hepatitis B virus is a common cause of severe disease and death in the United States, and because the hepatitis B vaccine does not cause permanent damage or death, the benefits of the hepatitis B vaccine clearly outweigh its risks.
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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 youre 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, its your employers responsibility to arrange vaccination for you, rather than your GP. Contact your occupational health department.
People With Diabetes Have Twice The Chance Of Becoming Infected With This Liver Disease
by Michelle Crouch, AARP, Updated September 10, 2021
En español | Even though theres an effective vaccine to prevent it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 862,000 Americans are living with chronic, long-term hepatitis B, with the infection causing thousands of of cases of liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer ever year.
The virus attacks the liver silently at first, so many people dont realize they are infected until decades later, when the virus has already done extensive damage or caused liver cancer, says John Scott, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and associate medical director of the Hepatitis and Liver Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Its a bad cancer, it can be very aggressive, Scott says.
While children are routinely vaccinated against hepatitis B, which can be spread from mother to baby at birth, its only recommended for certain groups of adults including diabetics and only 16 percent of Americans age 50 or older have received the vaccine.
Because children are vaccinated, the virus is more commonly spread through sexual contact or by sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection equipment. The opioid epidemic has caused a spike in the number of cases.
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Adjuvants In Recombinant Hbv Vaccines
Modern recombinant vaccines are very refined and contain less antigenic components . As a result, adding adjuvants is essential to induce a better immune response. Among the adjuvants, aluminum salts are widely used. These salts can form insoluble particles, cause retention and release of vaccine antigens gradually like a depot, and thereby induce innate immunity.14 The various adjuvant systems used with recombinant HBV vaccines are AS01B , AS01E , AS02A , AS02B , AS02V , AS03 , AS04 , etc.14
Is It Okay To Get An Extra Dose Of Hepatitis B Vaccine
Yes. Although extra doses of vaccine are not recommended, you can think of the extra dose as another chance for the immune system to see the hepatitis B virus. A vaccine is not the only time the immune system will see the virus or bacteria contained in it. People may be exposed to the virus or bacteria at school or the store or when visiting family or friends. An extra dose of vaccine is like one more exposure, except the difference is that the virus or bacteria in any vaccine has been made safe, so it wont make you ill.
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What Is The Selected Safety Information For Recombivax Hb
Do not administer RECOMBIVAX HB to individuals with a history of severe allergic or hypersensitivity reactions after a previous dose of any hepatitis B-containing vaccine or to any component of RECOMBIVAX HB, including yeast.
The vial stopper and the syringe plunger stopper and tip cap contain dry natural latex rubber, which may cause allergic reactions in latex-sensitive individuals.
Apnea following intramuscular vaccination has been observed in some infants born prematurely. Decisions about when to administer an intramuscular vaccine, including RECOMBIVAX HB, to infants born prematurely should be based on consideration of the individual infants medical status and the potential benefits and possible risks of vaccination. For RECOMBIVAX HB, this assessment should include consideration of the mothers hepatitis B antigen status and high probability of maternal transmission of hepatitis B virus to infants born to mothers who are HBsAg positive if vaccination is delayed.
Hepatitis B vaccination should be delayed until 1 month of age or hospital discharge in infants weighing < 2000 g if the mother is documented to be HBsAg negative at the time of the infants birth. Infants weighing < 2000 g born to HBsAg positive or HBsAg unknown mothers should receive vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin in accordance with ACIP recommendations if HBsAg status cannot be determined.
Vaccination with RECOMBIVAX HB may not protect all individuals.
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
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How Is A Hepatitis B Vaccine Given
A health care provider gives the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot injected into a muscle, usually in the arm for adults and children older than 1 year and in the thigh for infants and children younger than 1 year. Vaccination with a hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as a series of injections over a period of time, depending on the specific brand of the vaccine. Read any printed information that your health care provider gives you about the hepatitis B vaccine.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Receiving A Hepatitis B Vaccine
Before receiving a hepatitis B vaccine, tell your health care provider:
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from getting a hepatitis B vaccine. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
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What Is A Hepatitis B Vaccine
A hepatitis B vaccine prevents hepatitis B virus infection . Engerix-B, Heplisav-B, and Recombivax HB are examples of hepatitis B vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Engerix-B and Recombivax HB are both approved for use in people of all ages. Heplisav-B is approved for use in adults 18 years of age and older.HBV can be an opportunistic infection of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systemssuch as people with HIVthan in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet. To learn how HIV and HBV infection are connected, read the HIVinfo HIV and Hepatitis B fact sheet.
Origin Of Antiviral Resistance
The genetic makeup of viruses is constantly changing, which can cause a virus to become resistant to currently available treatments. Viruses can become resistant through spontaneous or intermittent mechanisms throughout the course of an antiviral treatment. Immunocompromised patients, more often than immunocompetent patients, hospitalized with are at the highest risk of developing oseltamivir resistance during treatment. Subsequent to exposure to someone else with the flu, those who received oseltamivir for “post-exposure prophylaxis” are also at higher risk of resistance.
Multiple strains of one virus can be present in the body at one time, and some of these strains may contain mutations that cause antiviral resistance. This effect, called the , results in immense variation in any given sample of virus, and gives the opportunity for natural selection to favor viral strains with the highest fitness every time the virus is spread to a new host. Also, recombination, the joining of two different viral variants, and , the swapping of viral gene segments among viruses in the same cell, play a role in resistance, especially in influenza.
Antiviral resistance has been reported in antivirals for herpes, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and influenza, but antiviral resistance is a possibility for all viruses. Mechanisms of antiviral resistance vary between virus types.
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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.
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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Why Should My Baby Get The Hepatitis B Shot
- Protects your child from against hepatitis B, a potentially serious disease.
- Protects other people from the disease because children with hepatitis B usually dont have symptoms, but they may pass the disease to others without anyone knowing they were infected.
- Prevents your child from developing liver disease and cancer from hepatitis B.
- Keeps your child from missing school or child care and you from missing work.