Here's All You Need To Know About The Importance of Hepatitis B Vaccine

The hepatitis vaccine is given to new born babies and the reason is very serious. Hepatitis B can become a chronic infection and can lead to lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.

Vani Malik
Written by: Vani MalikUpdated at: Jul 24, 2019 15:07 IST
Here's All You Need To Know About The Importance of Hepatitis B Vaccine

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The hepatitis vaccine is given to newborn babies, and the reason is grave. Hepatitis B can become a chronic infection and can lead to lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Every person should get the hepatitis vaccine at the time of their birth. The two members of hepatitis that are common are hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The other forms of hepatitis are C, D and E, which are caused by a viral infection. 

What is the importance of the hepatitis B vaccine?

The inflammation of your liver marks hepatitis, and the consequences of getting the disease are indeed dire, which can lead to some fatal cases. There are no vaccines available for hepatitis C, D and E. However, you can get effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B. While hepatitis A spreads through food or water, by sharing eating utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing and sneezing, these do not happen for hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can spread if you come in contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids. This is the reason why certain types of people should consider taking the hepatitis B vaccine.

Also Read: Hepatitis A Prevention Is Possible, Says Dr Poonam Sachdev

People at risk of Hepatitis B

  • If you are injecting drugs and have a partner who does so as well
  • If you change your sexual partners frequently
  • Homosexuals
  • Babies who are born to infected mothers
  • If you have a close relative or a sexual partner with hepatitis B
  • If you receive regular blood transfusions or blood products
  • If you suffer from any liver disease
  • If you have chronic kidney disease
  • Male and female sex workers are at high risk.
  • Nurses, prison staff, doctors, dentists, laboratory staff who come in contact with various types of blood and body fluids

The Effects of Hepatitis B

The youngest victims, as in those who are infected during the prenatal period are those who face a ninety per cent chance of becoming chronically infected. Thirty to fifty per cent of infected children who are between the ages of one and five tend to develop a chronic infection as compared to the six per cent to ten per cent of older children and adults who progress from acute to chronic infections.

Most number of deaths and disability that occur with hepatitis ten to be attributed to chronic infection, which can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. 

Also Read: Prevent Hepatitis B With These Simple Steps

The Significance of Vaccination

The World Health Organization reports that more than 240 million people have chronic liver infections and about 600 000 people die each year due to hepatitis B. The vaccine is 95 per cent effective in preventing the infection and its consequences. 

For the vaccination, to work you require three injections of hepatitis B vaccine for four to six months, and in case you have an existing kidney problem then you will be followed up to see how you have responded to the vaccine. For those who are at continuing risk of the infection are recommended the five-year boosters. The vaccination is very safe, and the only problem would be some redness and soreness at the site of injecting. Hepatitis B vaccination side effects are rare. 

You should consult your doctor before getting the vaccine as some may have a severe allergic reaction to the dose, also mention to your doctor about any allergies that you might have. If you are pregnant, then you must take the vaccination under the proper guidance of your doctor.

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