Hepatitis B is spread by the hepatitis B virus, it is highly contagious and affects the liver. If the disease is not checked at earlier stages, it can be detrimental. You can protect your health by administering the hepatitis B vaccine.
Infection can cause symptoms like fever, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and jaundice. This disease is spread by sharing needles, toothbrushes, and infected blood. It can also be passed to the baby in childbirth. This vaccine has a 90% protection rate for children. It should be given to unvaccinated people under the age of 19 and those working with infected people. To avoid large expenses due to hospitalisation, you can avail an insurance plan from the Bajaj Markets platform.
Currently, the hepatitis B vaccine price ranges between ₹45 (from the Serum Institute) and ₹250 per paediatric dose of 10 micrograms in 0.5ml. The hepatitis B vaccine dose for adults, of 20 micrograms, is nearly double that.
The hepatitis B virus infection can be very detrimental to your health. The acute form of the infection occurs within 6 months of the first exposure to the virus, and the symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, joint and muscle pain and even jaundice. The chronic form of the illness is a result of the virus lingering in the person’s body and can lead to liver damage/cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. Those who are chronically infected may spread it to others easily, and infants are especially at risk of fatality.
HBV is spread through contact with fluids like blood, semen, or others from the infected person. This virus can be passed on:
from a mother to her baby
upon contact with blood or sores of the infected person
sharing razors, toothbrushes, needles, syringes with an infected person
sexual intercourse with an infected partner
Hence, the hepatitis B or HBV vaccination is administered to protect your health and prevent such serious health complications.
The hepatitis B vaccine provides over 90 per cent protection to babies, children, as well as adults who have been immunised with all three doses prior to exposure to the virus and that too long term. Besides preventing hepatitis B infection, the vaccine also averts the development of any complications like chronic disease and liver cancer.
Depending on which vaccine is used, the hepatitis B vaccine schedule and dose may vary. You may need 3 to 4 doses (shots) for long-lasting immunity. For children, the hepatitis B vaccine schedule is as follows:
Children are given their first shot at birth, and the course is completed by 6 months from then. The second dose is administered at the 1-month mark and the third at 6 months. Pregnant women with hepatitis B should give their babies a shot of HBV antibodies as well as the vaccine shot upon birth and conduct follow-up blood tests.
The hepatitis B vaccine is manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies all over the world. Some of the most commonly used vaccines around the world are Recombivax HB (Merck), Engerix-B (GSK), Elovac B (Human Biologicals Institute, a division of Indian Immunologicals Limited), Genevac B (Serum Institute), Shanvac B, Heplisav-B, and PreHevbrio.
Besides newborns, others who should take the vaccine are:
Unvaccinated people under the age of 19
Anyone with a sexual partner with hepatitis B
Sexually active people outside of a long-term monogamous relationship
People being examined for STDs
Men having sexual intercourse with other men
People who share drug-injecting equipment
Anyone sharing living space with an infected person
Anyone whose job puts them in contact with infected persons, or blood and bodily fluids
People with end stage renal disease or chronic liver disease
Workers at facilities for the developmentally disabled
Anyone who has travelled to a region with significant rates of the infection
People with HIV infections
It is important to note that there are certain exceptions when it comes to taking the vaccine. Do not take the vaccine if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose or are allergic to yeast, since yeast is used to make the hepatitis B vaccine.
Also, consult your healthcare provider about the vaccine components if you have any other life-threatening allergies. If you are unwell with a mild illness like a cold, taking the vaccine is safe. However, if the illness is serious, it is advisable to consult your doctor and wait.
The vaccine has certain side effects that you should be aware of. Prior to administration, you will likely be informed about these by your healthcare provider. Take a look at the list of side effects to help you stay informed.
Mild hepatitis B vaccine side effects that usually last only a couple of days include:
Redness, soreness, swelling, purplish spot, lump or itching at the injection site
Irritability/agitation (especially in children)
Fever of 100ºF or higher
If you experience these rare, more severe hepatitis B vaccine side effects, contact your doctor immediately:
If you or your loved ones haven’t taken the hepatitis B vaccine dose already, ensure you do it soon and take the necessary precautions too. However, the precautions come in many forms. An unexpected hospitalisation could lead not only to mental stress but also financial stress given the high cost of healthcare. Hence, it is important to have health insurance in place to avoid financial drain in case of an illness. Some plans also cover vaccination costs, treatment costs, and also regular health checkups. So, do not wait more and get yourself a good health insurance plan on the Bajaj Markets platform now!
The important ingredients of a hepatitis B vaccine are hepatitis B surface antigen, aluminium phosphate, sodium chloride, sodium borate, and other salts.
The major risk of missing a hepatitis B vaccine dose is that you might not achieve the desired immunity. However, missing a dose does not require you to restart the whole process, just ensure you complete the course hepatitis B vaccine schedule and check if you need follow-up tests or additional booster shots.
Some of the commonly known mild side effects of the hepatitis B vaccine are redness, soreness, swelling, purplish spot, lump or itching at the injection site, headache, fatigue, dizziness, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, irritability/agitation (especially in children), nausea, or high fever.
Children are given their first shot of hepatitis B vaccine at birth, the second dose is given at 1 month-mark and the third at 6 months.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to the previous dose or are allergic to yeast, you should avoid taking the vaccine. You should also refrain from taking the hepatitis B vaccine dose if you have a serious illness.