Hepatitis B Vaccines

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Hepatitis B vaccine is used against the infection caused by hepatitis B virus or HBV virus. Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus. HBV virus is found in the blood and other body fluids like saliva, semen and vaginal fluid. The virus can easily spread from an infected person to a non-infected person and this infection can last for a week or more outside the human body. The common symptoms associated with this infection are yellowing of skin, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, bloated and tender belly, vomiting, tiredness, fever, joint pains etc. The severe infection causes liver inflammation, jaundice, vomiting, and even liver cancer or cirrhosis. For treating hepatitis B, hepatitis B vaccine is used.

Brand Names of Hepatitis B Vaccines

For hepatitis B, recombinant DNA vaccines are available. This implies that they are manufactured by inserting the gene for HBV into common baker's yeast where it is grown, harvested, and purified. The popular brands of hepatitis B vaccines are as follows:

  • Engerix-B (GSK)
  • Recombivax HB (GSK)
  • Elovac B (Human Biologicals Institute, A division of Indian Immunologicals Limited)
  • Genevac B (Serum Institute)
  • Shanvac B etc.
These vaccines are given intramuscularly. The first two are the licensed HBV vaccines used in the US and approved by the FDA of the US. There is also a combination vaccine for hepatitis A and B for adults by the brand name of TwinRix, produced by GlaxoSmithKline.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Doses

It takes only 3 shots to protect yourselves against hepatitis B for a lifetime. In some cases, an accelerated two-dose series for adolescents is recommended. The schedule is as given below:

  • First Shot - At any given time
  • Second Shot - At least one month after the first dose.
  • Third Shot - Six months after the first dose.

Who Should Get Hepatitis B Vaccine?
  • All children 0-18 years of age.
  • In many schools, hepatitis B vaccination is a must for school entry.
  • Persons who are at increased risk of acquiring HBV infection.
  • Any person who desires protection from hepatitis B.
  • Babies born to mothers having HBV infections.
  • All health-care and laboratory staff.
  • Men who have sex with other men.
  • Pregnant women who need protection from HBV infection may be vaccinated.
Not Recommended For
  • Persons having allergy reactions to baker's yeast.
  • Persons having allergic reactions to other vaccines or previously taken hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Anyone who is not keeping well when a HBV vaccine dose is scheduled.
Disclaimer:The above information is for general understanding of the visitor. Please consult a registered medical practitioner before taking the aforesaid medicine.
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