Essay about Hepatitis B Vaccine for Newborns

882 Words 4 Pages
Hepatitis B virus can cause an infection either in the form of a short, acute illness or a chronic, long-lasting condition that affects the liver. Hepatitis B can cause serious disease in infants, so pregnant mothers who carry the virus must try to protect their babies by being screened and having their babies vaccinated after birth.
What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B virus is an organism that infects the liver, causing either a short, acute illness or a chronic, long-lasting disease. A baby who gets infected with the virus may experience a mild condition with no symptoms, but most babies become chronic carriers of the virus and pass them to others. What's worse is that one out of four carriers of the virus eventually develop serious liver
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Although transmission of the virus is often associated with risky sexual behaviors and unsafe use of needles, many individuals who are affected do neither of these. Babies may contract the disease during birth or during childhood, by being inclose contact from other infected individuals. The virus is very infectious, and among the 1.4 million US residents who have it, up to 30% of them acquired the infection during childhood. Although most infected individuals are not aware they are carrying the virus because of lack of symptoms, those who are infected at a young age have a greater risk of developing chronic health problems such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Up to 3,000 people in the US die annually from diseases related to hepatitis B infection.
Fortunately, since the hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) became a regular part of the immunization schedule recommended in the US since 1991, the incidence of infection significantly dropped (94%) among children and adolescents and 75% in the general population. In the last three decades, the number of people who acquire the infection has gone down from about 260,000 to 38,000, notably among young individuals.

What Are the Side Effects of the Hepatitis B Vaccine?
HBV is generally considered safe, but like any medication, it has some risks. The following list of possible side effects of HBV may occur in babies as well as adults.
1. Common ones
Common side effects that occur within one or two days

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