Hepatitis B Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions | Side Effects
- Hepatitis B is caused by Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a DNA virus of the Hepadnaviridae family.
- It is a serious condition which can become chronic and lead to liver cirrhosis.
- The main modes of transmission are sexual contact, blood and blood-products, and vertical transmission from infected mother to her child.
- Recombinant subunit vaccine
- Hep B vaccine: A recombinant vaccine containing Hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg).
- A combined Hep A and Hep B vaccine is also available.
- Hepatitis B vaccine provides greater than 90% protection to immunized children and adults, for a long duration of time, probably life-long.
All children should be vaccinated against Hepatitis B by the age of 6-18 months. Three doses are usually required: First dose at birth, second at 1-2 months, and a third one at 6-18 months of age.
Vaccination is recommended for at-risk groups which include::
- sex partners of people infected with hepatitis B,
- men who have sex with men,
- injection drug users,
- people with more than one sex partner,
- people with chronic liver or kidney disease, or who are on dialysis,
- people under 60 years of age with diabetes,
- people with jobs that expose them to human blood or other body fluids,
- household contacts of people infected with hepatitis B,
- residents and staff in institutions for the developmentally disabled,,
- travelers to countries where hepatitis B is common,
- people with HIV infection.
- Anyone who wishes to get vaccinated may receive the vaccine unless there are clear contraindications.
- Pregnant Women: Currently, the vaccine is considered safe in pregnancy, and pregnant women at risk of getting Hepatitis B should be vaccinated during pregnancy because of high risk of chronic hepatitis in newborns due to vertical transmission.
Schedule: A 5-dose schedule is currently practiced, given as: 0, 4 weeks, 6, 12, and 18 months. An annual booster dose for those who continue to be at risk.
- Patients who had severe allergic reaction to previous dose of the vaccine, or anyone who is severely allergic to yeast, or any other component of the vaccine.
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should probably wait until they recover before getting the vaccine.