Hepatitis B Vaccine: What You Need to Know
1. Why get vaccinated?
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness.
- Acute hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements), and pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.
- Chronic hepatitis B infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Most people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. Chronically infected people can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they do not feel or look sick themselves.
Depending on the age at which one is infected with Hepatitis B, the percentage of infected persons becoming a chronic carrier can vary from over 90% in infants who become infected through their mothers to about 10% in adults.
Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected through:
- Birth (if a pregnant person has hepatitis B, their baby can become infected)
- Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
- Contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- Sex with an infected partner
- Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments
Most people who are vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine are immune for life.
2. Hepatitis B Vaccine Singapore – Dosage
Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as 3 shots.
3. Who Should Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
Children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should be vaccinated.
Adults who were not vaccinated previously and want to be protected against hepatitis B can also get the vaccine.
Hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended for the following people:
- People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
- Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term, monogamous relationship
- People seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
- Victims of sexual assault or abuse
- Men who have sexual contact with other men
- People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- People who live with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids
- Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled people
- People living in jail or prison
- Travelers to regions or persons living in regions with increased rates of hepatitis B
- People with chronic liver disease, kidney disease on dialysis, HIV infection, infection with hepatitis C, or diabetes
Hepatitis B vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Speak to our certified vaccinators and get yourself and your loved ones protected.
Tags: Hepatitis B Vaccine Singapore