The hepatitis B virus is the infection that results in hepatitis B. Contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected individual might spread it.
If they aren’t immunised before birth, infants born to mums who have the hepatitis B virus (HBV) are at significant risk of contracting the disease. Unfortunately, infants who have a chronic HBV infection might develop additional, possibly fatal diseases such as cirrhosis (liver scarring), liver malignancy, and liver failure.
What Is The Hepatitis B Vaccine Used For?
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The Hepatitis B vaccine aids in preventing the Hepatitis B virus from infecting people (HBV).
Direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected individual is the only way to contract hepatitis B, which can cause serious liver illness.
Sharing objects with an infected individual, including razors or toothbrushes, can potentially spread the disease. If the required vaccinations are not administered, a baby whose mother has the disease may contract it at delivery.
Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes), nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and joint pain are all typical Hepatitis B symptoms.
Hepatitis B Vaccine For Newborn: Is It Really Necessary?
All newborns should receive the hepatitis B vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All children should receive three doses at the recommended intervals as part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS). Infants should receive their first dosage at birth, and they should finish the series by 6 months of age, though occasionally it may take longer.
Giving your infant the shot at birth and finishing the entire series ensures that you won’t ever have to worry that your baby will contract the hepatitis B virus. The vaccination provides lifetime protection.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule For Newborn
For the best defence against hepatitis B, doctors advise that your child receive all of the recommended doses of the vaccine. Inquire with your doctor about your child’s next vaccination schedule. Children typically receive one dose at each of the aforementioned ages:
- First dose: within 24 hours of birth
- Second dose: 1-2 months of age
- Third dose: 6-18 months of age
Depending on the vaccine brand the doctor uses or if your baby was underweight at birth, your child may need a fourth dose. All kids and teenagers up to age 18 who haven’t had the vaccination should do so.
A dose of the hepatitis B vaccination must be administered to newborns of hepatitis B-infected mothers within 24 hours of their birth, as well as additional doses at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age and a final dose at age 1.
In addition to the hepatitis B vaccination, babies of mothers who were found to be particularly infectious by the blood test may additionally receive an injection of HBIG before birth to provide them with quick protection against infection.
At one year of age, the hepatitis B status of every child born to a mother who has the disease should be determined.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Newborn: Pros and Cons
The most effective method of preventing this potentially fatal infection is vaccination. To prevent hepatitis B infection, all newborns should receive the vaccine.
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This is due to the fact that the illness can linger in youngsters for a very long time and finally result in problems like liver cancer or liver scarring.
The hepatitis B vaccine is regarded as a fairly secure and reliable shot. The majority of vaccination varieties are even safe for expectant mothers because they are created using an inactivated (dead) virus.
What are some common Hepatitis B vaccine side effects?
- Following the shot, some patients could feel lightheaded. To avoid passing out, sit for 15 minutes.
- Swelling, bruising, and pain at the injection site. A cold compress can be applied to the affected area to provide comfort. Paracetamol is a safe medication to relieve the pain.
- Fever and a headache. Paracetamol can be used to treat a headache or fever. Note: Alway consult your child’s paediatrician before giving them any kind of medication.
- Tiredness, wooziness, and irritation. However, these adverse effects typically subside on their own.
What are the rare but serious side effects that require immediate medical attention?
One or more of the following are signs of a medication allergy:
- Swollen tongue, lips, eyes, and face
- Problems with breathing
- You have rashy, itchy skin all over your body.
In the event that you suffer any of these signs, you should contact a medical practitioner right away.
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Hepatitis B Vaccine Booster
The CDC presently does not advise adults who were immunised as children or those who are pregnant
to get a booster dose. According to studies, if you had the HBV vaccine as a child, you are likely protected for at least 30 years and probably much longer.
Adults who receive the Twinrix vaccine on an accelerated schedule must have a booster shot after a year, as was previously mentioned.
Healthcare professionals may suggest getting a booster shot for dialysis patients. It may also be suggested that those with a continuing risk of HBV exposure receive a booster if a blood test reveals that their defences against the virus have diminished. Generally speaking, few people will ever require an HBV booster.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Booster Dose Schedule For Adults
Adults (18 years of age or older) who have not previously had immunizations or who do not have proof of prior infection or immunity should receive three doses as part of the Singapore National Adult Immunization Schedule (NAIS) (the first dose, followed by the second and third dose at one month and six months after the first dose).
A three-dose schedule can also be followed by adults who were not immunised as children:
- First dose: as soon as you are able
- Second dose: 1 month after the first dose
- Third dose: 6 months after the first dose
What to do if you forget a dose that’s scheduled?
Three doses of the HBV vaccination are given according to the advised schedule, with a six-month interval between each treatment. The good news is that you don’t have to restart the sequence of shots if you miss a dose.
Make an appointment as soon as possible if you missed the second dose that was given one month following the first. The third dose should be taken as soon as possible if you miss it. Remember that at least 8 weeks should pass between the second and third dosages.
Who Are Not Eligible For The Hepatitis B Vaccine?
Hepatitis B is a safe vaccine that does not contain a live virus.
The hepatitis B vaccine is risk-free and devoid of live viral components.
Doctors do, however, occasionally advise against having the HBV vaccine in certain situations.
The hepatitis B vaccine is not recommended for you if:
- A prior dose of the hepatitis B vaccine caused a severe allergic reaction in you
- You’ve previously had hypersensitivity to yeast or any other ingredients in the HBV vaccine
According to the World Health Organization, the hepatitis B vaccine offers at least 98 per cent protection to infants, kids, and adults who receive it completely before being exposed to the virus.
The HBV vaccine is secure and aids in preventing hepatitis B infection, lowering your chances of both liver illness and liver cancer. You’ll probably have minimal, if any, negative effects, despite the fact that some people hardly ever suffer major side effects.
To ensure your child’s protection from preventable diseases, make sure they are up to date with their vaccination schedule. Do not hesitate to talk to your baby’s paediatrician if you have any questions about the vaccines.
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