Understanding the Hepatitis B Vaccine

The Hepatitis B Vaccine may be difficult to understand at first. MainStreet Family Care is here to clear up all your curiosities about this vaccine!

What Is Hepatitis B?

To fully understand the Hepatitis B Vaccine, you must first grasp the idea of what the disease Hepatitis B is. 

The hepatitis b virus causes Hepatitis B, also known as HBV. This virus affects the liver, and can cause chronic liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and death in some cases. 

For some people with hepatitis b infection, the symptoms may only be short-term. Others may experience chronic symptoms. 

How Is Hepatitis B Contracted? 

Anyone can contract HBV if they come in contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person. People who have the highest risk factors for contracting the virus include: 

  • Those who have unprotected sex, especially men who have sex with men. 
  • Any infants born to mothers with the virus. 
  • People who share needles with others.
  • Those who work in healthcare and come in contact with needles of infected people. 
  • People who routinely visit third-world countries where hepatitis is common. 

What Is The Hepatitis B Vaccine? 

The Hepatitis B Vaccine offers 80% to 100% of protection from HBV, and there are several variations of the vaccine. Some of these vaccines are only meant to prevent the HBV virus, while others are combination vaccines meant to protect against both HBV and other diseases. 

You can receive these vaccines at your Primary Care provider’s office.

Newborns should receive 3 doses of vaccine across a four month timespan. Adults 18 and older will typically receive one more dose of hepatitis b vaccine, unless they are at high risk of contracting the virus. 

Are you in need of another Hepatitis B Vaccine? MainStreet Family Care offers this vaccine in our primary care services.

What Are The Side Effects?

The side effects of the vaccine are typically mild and include: 

  • Soreness, tenderness, or redness around the injection site
  • Fever
  • In infants, increased irritability or fussiness. 

These symptoms will likely totally go away within a day of receiving the vaccine.

Who Should Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine? 

The world health organization (WHO) recommends all people receive the Hepatitis B Vaccine beginning with infants.

 Additionally, the CDC recommends everyone in the United States from newborns, children up to adults age 19, and those all adults at any years of age receive the vaccine. 

How To Avoid Contracting HBV

Preventing Hepatitis B can be simple if you take the correct steps. Best prevention methods include: 

  • Ensuring your sexual partners are clear from HBV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 
  • Using protection during sexual intercourse. 
  • Staying up to date on all Hepatitis B vaccines, especially if you travel frequently. 
  • Ensure you are being given sterile needles every time you receive an injection. 

Turn To MainStreet Family Care

In need of a Hepatitis B Vaccine? MainStreet Family Care can help! 

To visit our primary care providers, sign up in the patient portal and schedule your first appointment.