Hepatitis B is a viral disease which annually infects about 80,000 people, hospitalizes more than 11,000 people and takes a death toll of around 4,000 to 5,000 people. Fortunately, Hepatitis B Vaccination can prevent hepatitis B and its 3 shots are sufficient to get immunized for lifetime against this lethal disease. Hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with either the body fluids or the blood of the infected person. Initially the Hepatitis B vaccine was plasma-derived, made from blood product which was approved in 1981, but discontinued thereafter in 1990. Current form of hepatitis B vaccine is synthetically manufactured and is considered safe and effective in combating the virus. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended mandatory for every person of 18 years of age or younger and all the adults over 18 years who are at risk.
Administering oneself with hepatitis B vaccine is much safer than getting hepatitis B disease. Some of the mild side-effects are soreness or swelling at the stop where the shot was given or mild fever which does not last longer. Severe side effects in rare cases can be allergic reactions. People with documented allergy to yeast or any past cases of allergic reaction to the vaccine should not be given this Hepatitis B Vaccine at all.
According to the studies of various medical associations worldwide, Hepatitis B vaccine is considered the safest and effective vaccines with no practical evidence that the vaccine causes sudden infant deaths (SIDs), multiple sclerosis, or other neurological disorders.
The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically recommends this Hepatitis B Vaccine for all the infants and children as well as the adults in high-risk category.
Apart from the above recommended groups, following is the extensive list of the category of people who should be administered with hepatitis B vaccine mandatorily:
1. Infants at birth time and all the children up to 18 years
2. All the professionals in Healthcare and emergency profession
3. Teens and adults who are sexually active
4. Men who have sex with men
5. Sex partners or close family/household members living with an infected person.
6. Families considering adopting a child either from their own nation or from other nation
7. Travelers to countries where hepatitis B is common (Asia, Africa, South America, the Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe and the Middle East)
8. Patients who are undergoing dialysis or are suffering from kidney disease
9. Residents and staff of correctional facilities and group homes
10. Person who are categorized into a high risk group due to occupation or lifestyle choices
Three doses are necessary for a complete Hepatitis B Vaccination according to the following schedule:
1. FirstHepatitis B Injection : At any given time
2. SecondHepatitis BInjection : At least one month after the first dose
3. Third Hepatitis B Injection : Six months after the first dose
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