Hepatitis B (HepB) recombinant vaccine
DISEASE: Hepatitis B—a virus transmitted through blood and other body fluids; can also be transmitted from mother to infant. It causes acute and chronic liver disease. Chronic infection can lead to liver failure, cirrhosis, or cancer (causes 50% of hepatocellular cancer).
BRIEF HISTORY: Before vaccine introduction, about 18,000 children less than 10 years old were infected each year. Since the vaccine introduction, only 2,895 cases were reported in 2012. 90% of infected infants develop chronic infection.
CURRENT ROUTINE SCHEDULE IN THE US: First dose: birth, Second dose: 1– 2 months, third dose: 6– 18 months. After birth, the vaccine may be given as part of a combination vaccine (DTaP– HepB– IPV) at 2, 4, and 6 months.
REPORTED ADVERSE EVENTS: Pain or soreness at the injection site, mild fever, headache, fatigue.
VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS: Over 90% protection to infants, children, and adults immunized with 3- dose series before exposure to the virus. Some people may not respond to the first series and will require a second series.
Image credit: “Hepatitis B virus” by jrvalverde. CCo Public Domain via Pixabay.