How Does Hepatitis B Spread
The hepatitis B virus spread through bodily fluids like blood or semen. Some common vectors include: sex, contaminated needles, and direct contact with blood or open wounds.
Sexual transmission accounts for nearly two-thirds of acute hepatitis B cases. It is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Talk With Your Health Care Provider
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone hepatitis B vaccination to a future visit.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting hepatitis B vaccine.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
Who Should Not Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker’s yeast, or to any component of the vaccine should not get the hepatitis B vaccine. Tell your provider if you have any serious allergies.
- Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine should not get another dose.
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill should probably wait until they recover.
- Pregnant women who need protection from hepatitis B may be vaccinated, but should check with their doctor first.
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I Am A Healthcare Worker Who Did Not Develop Hepatitis B Antibodies After Immunization What Should I Do
Not everyone responds to the hepatitis B vaccine. In fact, in a group of adults younger than 40 years of age who have received two doses of the vaccine only 75 of 100 will be protected. Following the third dose, this number will increase to 90 of 100. However, people older than 40 years of age will be less likely to respond to the vaccine with increasing age.
Even if people do not respond to three doses, it does not mean that they are at high risk for hepatitis B. Because hepatitis B is transmitted primarily through blood and body fluids, using safety precautions while working will help decrease the chance of exposure to the disease. It is also possible that the immune response was not great enough to be measured by the laboratory test, but would still provide some level of protection upon exposure to hepatitis B. The CDC recommends getting the three-dose series again if an immune response is not generated following the first series.
About 5-10 of every 100 children and adults younger than 40 years of age do not respond to the third dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. Some of these people will be recommended to get the series of three doses again. About 5 of 100 people will still not respond after six doses. If these people are determined not to have chronic hepatitis B, they will be reliant on taking precautions to reduce the chance of exposure and relying on those around them for protection. In other words, these people will be reliant on herd immunity.
Should You Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
You may need the vaccination against hepatitis B if you have not previously been vaccinated against hepatitis B AND you have any of the following reasons for receiving the vaccination:
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Liver cirrhosis or liver fibrosis
- Other chronic liver disease
- Awaiting or received liver transplant
- Findings consistent with liver disease
- HIV infection
- Use of injection drugs currently or in the past
- Have a sex partner who has hepatitis B
- Have had more than one sex partner in the past 6 months
- Men who have sex with men
- Travel to countries with high or intermediate rates of hepatitis B infection
- Reside or work in a prison or correctional facility
- People with end-stage renal disease including patients receiving dialysis
- People who are seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
- Work in a high-risk profession with reasonable anticipation of risk of exposure to blood or body fluids, such as:
- Health care centers
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Hepatitis B Immunisation Service
Hepatitis B vaccines are given as a needle, either on their own or as a combination vaccine. They can be provided by a variety of recognised immunisation providers. If you’re eligible, you can get the hepatitis B vaccine for free under the National Immunisation Program .
Find information that will help you deliver your service to your patients
If I Already Have Hepatitis B Can The Vaccine Treat It
No. The hepatitis vaccine prevents hepatitis, but doesnt cure it if you already have it. If you have hepatitis B, there are other treatment options.
However, if you recently got exposed to the hepatitis B virus and you havent had the vaccine yet, tell your doctor right away. The vaccine and possibly other treatment can reduce your chances of getting hepatitis B if you get it within 2 weeks after you came into contact with the virus. The sooner you seek care after being exposed to hepatitis B, the better, so try to get there right away.
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Which Adults Should Be Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B
According to CDC recommendations, adults in the following groups are recommended to receive hepatitis B vaccine:
- All people age 18 years and younger.
- Anyone 19 years and older who wants to be protected from hepatitis B.
People at risk for infection by sexual exposure
- Sex partners of people who are hepatitis B surface antigen -positive.
- Sexually active people who are not in long-term, mutually monogamous relationships.
- People seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease.
- Men who have sex with men.
People at risk for infection by percutaneous or permucosal exposure to blood or body fluids
- Current or recent illegal injection drug users.
- Household contacts of people who are HBsAg-positive.
- Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally challenged people.
- Healthcare and public safety workers with reasonably anticipated risk for exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids.
- People with end-stage renal disease, including predialysis, hemo-, peritoneal- and home-dialysis patients.
- International travelers to regions with intermediate or high levels of endemic HBV infection.
- People with chronic liver disease.
- People with HIV infection.
- People with diabetes who are age 19 through 59 years. For those age 60 and older, clinicians should make a determination of need for
- vaccination based on their patients’ situation.
In a future issue, we will review the various hepatitis B serologic tests, who needs testing, and when they need it .
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.
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Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
Speak with your health care provider if you have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine, or any component of the vaccine such as yeast, or to latex.
There is no need to delay getting immunized because of a cold or other mild illness. However, if you have concerns speak with your health care provider.
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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Who Should Get Hepatitis Vaccinations
Since the vaccines were first developed, the hepatitis A and B vaccines have become part of the regular childhood immunization schedule. They are not considered a routine adult immunization.
“When we’re talking about adults, I would say yes, get the vaccine if they fit into one of these risk factors” says Poland. “If they don’t fit into the risk factors, their risk is so low that there’s no compelling reason to do it.”
People at risk for hepatitis A include:
- Anyone traveling to or working in areas where hepatitis A is more widespread.
- People whose work puts them in potential contact with hepatitis A, such as those who work with the hepatitis A virus in research labs
- People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
- People who have chronic liver disease
- People who use recreational drugs, injected or not
- Men who have sex with men
People at risk for hepatitis B include:
- Anyone traveling to or working in areas where hepatitis B is more widespread.
- Health care workers and other people whose job exposes them to human blood
- People with HIV infection, end-stage kidney disease, or chronic liver disease
- People who live with someone with hepatitis B
- People who inject street drugs
- Sexually active people who have had more than one partner
- Anyone who has had an STD
- Men who have sex with men
- Sex partners of people with hepatitis B
Risks Of A Vaccine Reaction
- Soreness where the shot is given or fever can happen after hepatitis B vaccine.
People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
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Who Should Get A Hepatitis B Vaccine
Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for everyone. But, some groups are at an increased risk. These include the following individuals:
- Men who have sex with men
- Inject drugs or share needles
- Live with a person with chronic hepatitis B
- Hemodialysis patients
- Travelers to regions with hepatitis B transmission.
Those who are allergic to products within the vaccine and some individuals with certain health conditions. Consult with a travel health specialist to learn if the vaccine is right for you and your situation.
What Are The Risks Of Hepatitis B
About 90 per cent of adults infected with Hepatitis B recover within six months. However about 90 per cent of infected babies and 10 per cent of infected adults will develop chronic infection for life. Chronic Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and death. A person with chronic Hepatitis B also has higher risk of being infected with another viral Hepatitis.
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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.
Who Should Get Immunised Against Hepatitis B
Anyone who wants to protect themselves against hepatitis B can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.
Hepatitis B immunisation is recommended for:
People under 20 years old, refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age, can get hepatitis B vaccines for free under the NIP. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood. This is called catch-up vaccination.
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The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling or visiting the VICP website at . There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
Following Hepatitis B Vaccine Include The Following:
- Soreness where the shot was given
- Temperature of 99.9 °F or higher
If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1 or 2 days.
Your doctor can tell you more about these reactions.
- People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
- Some people get shoulder pain, which can be more severe and longer lasting than the more routine soreness that can follow injections. This happens very rarely.
- Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at about 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit:
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What Is The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is the best way to prevent infection. It is a series of 2, 3 or 4 shots usually given over a 6-to-12 month period. It is given by an injection into the arm muscle of adolescents and adults and thigh muscle of infants and young children. Estimates of long-term protection for those getting the full vaccination suggest that protection from hepatitis B could last for up to 20 or 30 years and possibly for life.
What Are The Side Effects
Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get hepatitis B.
Many people have no side effects from the vaccine. However, for those that do, common side effects may include soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Some may experience a mild fever.
It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is a very rare possibility, between one in 100,000 and one in a million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
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The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine sometimes known by the trade name Recombivax HB is used to prevent this infection. The vaccine is provided in three doses.
The first dose can be taken on a date you choose. The second dose must be taken one month later. The third and final dose must be taken six months after the first dose.
Adolescents 11 to 15 years old may follow a two-dose regimen.
What Other Drugs Interact With Hepatitis B Vaccine
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.
- Severe Interactions of Hepatitis B Vaccine include:
This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.
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