Viral Hepatitis B Prevention
Hepatitis B is prevented by the hepatitis vaccine. In the US the vaccine is given to all children. Adults who have not been vaccinated receive hepatitis B immunoglobulin if they are exposed to someone with hepatitis B. This is then followed by a hepatitis B vaccination.
Prevention of hepatitis B includes:
- Vaccination for hepatitis B:
- Healthcare workers who care for patients
- For those who practice anal sex
- For those who abuse intravenous drugs
- For those who have hepatitis A or hepatitis C
- Immune globulin for hepatitis B:
- For those who have not received the vaccine and are exposed to hepatitis B
- Wash hands after using the bathroom.
- Wash hands after changing diapers.
- Avoid body-piercing
- Avoid contact with blood
- Avoid multiple sex partners
- Avoid tattoos
- Do not abuse intravenous drugs
- Practice safe sex:
- Use condoms.
Viral Hepatitis B Vaccine
In 2001, the FDA approved a combination of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine marketed as the trade name Twinrix. This combination allows adults to receive protection against both forms of hepatitis with three injections instead of five. Hepatitis B vaccine is also present in PEDIARIX and Engerix-B combination vaccines.
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against infection with the hepatitis B virus. Everyone who is under 18 years of age should get hepatitis B vaccine. Unimmunized children younger than 18 years may begin the series at any age. Adults should get the hepatitis B vaccine if they are at risk for infection.
Indications for use
- Dialysis nurses
- Dialysis patients
- Health care workers
- Infants with hepatitis B infected mothers
- Institutionalized patients
- Intravenous drug users
- Male homosexuals.
- Sexually promiscuous persons
- Geographical area; your risk is also higher if your parents were born in:
- Southeast Asia
- Amazon Basin in South America
- Pacific Islands
- Middle East
Those who have had a serious reaction to baker's yeast in the past should not receive this vaccine.
Complete immunity to hepatitis B virus will require the administration of three boosters:
- In most cases the first booster may administered anywhere from birth to through the second month of life. Infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers should receive vaccine and 0.5 mL of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth at separate sites.
- The second booster should be administered at least one month after the first dose. Infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers should receive the second dose at least one month after the first dose.
- The third booster should be given at least 2 months after the second, but not before six months of age. Infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers should receive their third dose at least four months after the first and two months after the second, but not before 6 months of age.
- Illness may require a shot to be delayed. Only your doctor can make this determination.
- Soreness at the vaccination site (1 out of 11 children)
- Mild to moderate fever ( 1 out of 14 children)
Continue to Viral Hepatitis B Outlook
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