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When should people get the hepatitis B vaccine?

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Hepatitis B is a liver ailment caused by a virus. It might go away on its own or worsen, leading to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Since the 1980s, a vaccination against the virus that causes hepatitis B has been available.

Hepatitis B is a short-term condition that causes no long-term harm in many people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 2–6% of individuals with hepatitis B will acquire a chronic infection. Cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer are all possible effects of a chronic hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and a vaccination against it has been available in the United States since the 1980s. The vaccination protects people from being infected with hepatitis B and prevents them from contracting it.

Depending on the age range, multiple vaccination series are offered. For example, babies under the age of one year can receive the vaccination in three or four doses, while individuals beyond the age of one year can receive the vaccine in a two- or three-dose series. A person should consult with a physician to determine which vaccination series is best for them.

Multiple hepatitis B vaccination regimens will be discussed in this article. It will also look at who should get the vaccine and who should not.

Children under 1 year old

vaccine

A newborn may receive the vaccination in three or four doses, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation:

  • Three-dose vaccine series: All medically stable newborns in the United States with a birth weight of at least 2,000 grams should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccination within 24 hours of delivery, according to medical specialists.
  • Four-dose vaccine series: Combination vaccinations, like the ones in this series, protect against a variety of illnesses. The first dose of the combo vaccination is usually given to a newborn when he or she is 6 weeks old. This implies that until the age of six weeks, a newborn is not protected against hepatitis B. As a result, within 24 hours of delivery, a newborn should get a dose of the hepatitis B vaccination.

The following table shows the recommended HBV immunization regimens for infants under the age of one year:

Vaccine seriesBrand nameDose 1Dose 2Dose 3Dose 4
3-dose vaccine seriesEngerix-B or Recombivax HBat birth4 weeks after birth6 months after the first dose
4-dose combination vaccine seriesVaxelis or Pediarixat birth

(hepatitis B vaccine)
at 6 weeks old

(combination vaccine)
at 14 weeks old

(combination vaccine)
at 6 months old

(combination vaccine)

Those over 1 year old and adults

The three-dose course is appropriate for both children and adults. Adults over the age of 18 are eligible for the two-dose series.

The following table shows the recommended HBV vaccine schedule for people over the age of one :

Vaccine seriesBrand nameDose 1Dose 2Dose 3
3-dose vaccine seriesEngerix-B, Recombivax, or Tinrixday 11 month after the first dose6 months after the first dose
2-dose vaccine seriesHepislav-Bday 11 month after the first dose

Accelerated vaccine schedule for children and adults

A person may get a vaccination series over a shorter amount of time than the normal schedule under specific conditions.

If a person is traveling to an area where they are at high risk of exposure or working as an emergency responder in a disaster region, they may be given an expedited vaccination series.

For adults and children

The vaccination is given in three doses over the course of two months, with a one-year booster dose.

The initial expedited dosages protect against HBV right away, and the booster dose aids in long-term protection.

The following is the authorized accelerated immunization schedule for adults and children:

Vaccine seriesBrand nameDose 1Dose 2Dose 3Dose 4
4-dose vaccine seriesEnergix-Bday 11 month later2 months after the first dose1 year after the first dose

For adults only

A combination vaccination that protects against hepatitis A and B is used in the four-dose combination vaccine schedule.

This vaccination series consists of three doses given over the course of one month. After a year, the user is given a booster dosage. This is a popular option for people who need to travel outside of the United States on short notice.

The two-dose immunization regimen consists of two doses given one month apart.

For adults above the age of 18, there are two accelerated vaccination schedules:

Vaccine seriesBrand nameDose 1Dose 2Dose 3Dose 4
4-dose combination seriesTwinrixday 11 week later1 month after the first dose1 year after the first dose
2-dose vaccine seriesHepislav-Bday 11 month later

For vertical transmission

It is important that infants delivered to females who have hepatitis B receive proper hepatitis B vaccination doses. If hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) is available, they may be obliged to take it.

Antiviral prophylaxis is also recommended by WHO to assist prevent hepatitis B transmission.

The two recommended hepatitis B immunization regimens for children born to hepatitis B carriers are listed in the table below:

Vaccine seriesBrand nameDose 1Dose 2Dose 3Dose 4
3-dose vaccine seriesEngerix-B and Recombivax HBat birth

(hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG)
1 month later6 months after first dose
4-dose combination vaccine seriesVaxelis or Pediarixat birth

(hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG)
at 6 weeks of age

(combination vaccine)
at 14 weeks of age

(combination vaccine)
at 24 weeks of age

(combination vaccine)

International schedule

A combination vaccination, which protects against numerous illnesses, including hepatitis B, is used in many countries.

The three recommended worldwide hepatitis B vaccination regimens are listed in the table below:

Vaccine seriesDose 1Dose 2Dose 3Dose 4
3-dose vaccine series for those under 1 year oldat birth1 month after the first dose6 months after the first dose
3-dose vaccine series for those over 1 year old and adultsday 11 month after the first dose6 months after the first dose
4-dose combination vaccine for those under 1 year oldat birth

(hepatitis B vaccine)
at 6 weeks of age

(combination vaccine)
at 14 weeks of age

(combination vaccine)
at 6 months of age

(combination vaccine)

Who should get vaccinated against hepatitis B?

All babies should have the hepatitis B vaccine, according to medical experts.

The following people, according to the CDC, are at a greater risk of getting hepatitis B than the general population:

  • people who inject drugs
  • people who are at an increased risk due to exposure in their job
  • people who travel to countries with high levels of hepatitis B
  • people with chronic liver disease
  • people with HIV
  • sexually active people who are not in mutually monogamous relationships
  • people in a sexual relationship with someone who has hepatitis B

Most people are safe from the hepatitis B vaccination. After getting the vaccination, a person may encounter certain typical mild side effects.

These are some of them:

  • soreness or swelling in the arm at the site of injection
  • headache
  • fever

Who should not get the hepatitis B vaccine?

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor before having the vaccine:

  • have had an allergic reaction to neomycin (Twinrix)
  • have had an allergic reaction to yeast
  • have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or any component of a hepatitis B vaccine

A person can still get the vaccination if they have a small sickness, such as a cold. If someone is moderately or seriously unwell, they should not obtain the hepatitis B vaccine until they have recovered.

Conclusion

Hepatitis B is a liver ailment caused by a virus. It spreads by the transmission of body fluids from an infected person to an uninfected one.

Hepatitis B vaccinations are available in a variety of forms. The hepatitis B vaccination is administered in a series of doses. These vaccines are used in two-, three-, and four-dose vaccination regimens.

A combination vaccination that protects against hepatitis B and other infections is also available.

Sources:

  • https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b
  • https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/index.htm
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/hepatitis-b
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hepatitis-b-vaccine.html
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hep-b-vaccine-schedule
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html
  • https://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/vaccination/guidelines-2/