August 31, 2022 | By Haley Wilson | Hepatitis, Hepatitis B | Blog, Hepatic Clinical Trials, Vaccination
Don’t turn your back on vaccinations! With an increase in hepatitis B cases, the need for protection has never been more relevant. Learn more on the significance of vaccines, especially against hepatitis B.
Simply stated, vaccines save lives. When it comes to public health, few courses of action prove as effective as vaccinations. Vaccines provide our bodies with the necessary tools to recall and combat a particular virus. Immunity is crucial to promoting societal health, especially for immunocompromised adults and children, as their immune systems are weakened or not yet fully developed.
The safety of vaccinations is a concern for many. This fear is understandable as we want to ensure any vaccine is safe and will not cause further health complications. Even so, it’s important to note that before any vaccine is released to the public, extensive research, testing, and regulatory processes are conducted. This process often takes years before a vaccine is approved for mass distribution. Using organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rest assured that your health is in great hands.
Depending on the state in which you reside, vaccine requirements may vary. Nonetheless, healthcare professionals advise specific vaccinations schedules be followed to optimize protection and minimize risk. When it comes to vaccinations, providing immunity early in life has proven most beneficial long-term. Vaccines such as that of hepatitis B (HepB) are recommended at infancy and aim to complete the series by 6 to 18 months of age. It’s important to note, that the hepatitis B vaccine is available for all groups.
Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection, with many people never showing symptoms. Hepatitis B is transmitted through bodily fluids like blood and is considered 100 times more contagious than HIV. The hepatitis B vaccine is not only safe, but also highly effective. Did you know that the hepB vaccine is known as the “anti-cancer” vaccine? This is due to the success rate of vaccination in preventing hepatitis B, which is the primary cause of liver cancer worldwide. Today, there are 2 vaccines that can help protect against hepatitis B:
Worldwide, 2 billion people have been infected with hepatitis B and each year approximately 900,000 people die from infection. The state of Arizona has seen an influx of hepatitis b cases amongst more vulnerable populations, specifically Asian American and Pacific Islanders adults who were born before certain vaccine policies.
Now that we’re aware what hepatitis b is, let’s discuss how the vaccine works. When hepatitis begins to expand in the liver, excess surface protein is made. What the vaccine helps our body achieve is the creation of an immune response to the protein that sits on the surface of the virus. Most commonly, a series of 3 doses is required to complete the hepB vaccination. If for whatever reason you are unable to complete all 3 shots on schedule, you do not need to start from scratch should you want to complete your series.
It only takes a few shots to protect yourself and loved ones from the risks of hepatitis B for a lifetime! Check out a recent blog post more information on hepatitis B or contact us to learn more how to get vaccinated today!