We will start off this series on the individual vaccines with vaccine going from the recommended newborn to adult vaccines (besides the influenza one from last week).
The first vaccine recommended is the Hepatitis B vaccine which is usually administered in the hospital to the newborn.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoidea, including humans. Originally known as “serum hepatitis”, the disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China. About a third of the world population has been infected at one point in their lives, including 350 million who are chronic carriers.
The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers. Perinatal infection is a major route of infection in endemic (mainly developing) countries. Other risk factors for developing HBV infection include working in a healthcare setting, transfusions, dialysis, acupuncture, tattooing, extended overseas travel, and residence in an institution. However, Hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding. ~Wikipedia
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?(2)
The following are the most common symptoms for hepatitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently and some children may experience no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of acute (abrupt onset) hepatitis may include the following:
nausea and/or vomiting
not feeling well all over
abdominal pain or discomfort
itchy red hives on skin
Later symptoms include dark colored urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin, and eyes).
The symptoms of hepatitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
CDC graphic showing when the Hep B vaccine was introduced vs the rate of decline.(3)
As you can see here, the incident of Hepatitis B actually increased after the vaccine and declined in cases during the 1980s and early 1990s when it was generally attributed to reduction in transmission among homosexuals and injection-drug users as a result of HIV prevention efforts.
In the United States, Western Europe, and Australia, HBV infection is a disease of low endemicity. Infection occurs primarily during adulthood, and only 0.1% to 0.5% of the population are chronic carriers.(1)
Hepatitis B Perinatal Transmission(1)
If mother positive for HBsAg AND HBeAg
70%-90% of infants infected
90% of infected infants become chronically infected
If positive for HBsAg only
10% of infants infected
90% of infected infants become chronically infected
How is Hepatitis B treated?
(4)Chronic hepatitis B is normally a mild disease in children and teens. Most children can expect to live full, healthy lives unmarked by visible symptoms. In some children, however, the virus can cause serious liver damage. These children will need medical intervention and treatment. Not every child (or adult) with chronic hepatitis B needs to be treated. A pediatric liver specialist should evaluate your child to see if she or he is a candidate for treatment based on a physical exam, blood tests, and other test results. Treatment appears to be of greatest benefit to those who show signs of active liver disease.
(5)If you know you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, call your doctor immediately. Receiving an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin within 24 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help protect you from developing hepatitis B.
Treatment for acute hepatitis B infection
If your doctor determines your hepatitis B infection is acute — meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own — you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor will work to reduce any signs and symptoms you experience while your body fights the infection. Your doctor may recommend follow-up blood tests to make sure the virus has left your body.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection
If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, your doctor may recommend:
- Antiviral medications. Antiviral medications help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver. Several medications are available. Your doctor can suggest which medications may be most appropriate for you.
- Liver transplant. If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, though a small number come from living donors.
Do babies need Hep B? (6)
In 1991 the CDC recommended that all infants get their first Hepatitis B vaccination just hours after birth. The disease is mostly spread from dirty needles and unprotected sex. It can create deadly liver disease.
The vaccine has been blamed for mysterious deaths following the shots, sometimes filed as sudden infant death syndrome.
“So in the CDC and (the Vaccine Advisory Committee’s) own words, almost every newborn U.S. baby is now greeted on its entry into the world by a vaccine injection against a sexually transmitted disease for which the baby is not at risk — because they couldn’t get the junkies, prostitutes, homosexuals and promiscuous heterosexuals to take the vaccine,” Belkin told a congressional panel on May 18, 1999.
“Parents need to understand that the system providing the vaccines injected into their children’s veins is corrupt and scientifically flawed,” Belkin told UPI. “Parents should do their own homework and investigate this question: What is the risk of getting a severe neurological vaccine adverse reaction versus the risk of getting neurological complications from the disease?”
The CDC’s files contain 32,731 total reports of possible reactions following Hepatitis B vaccinations since 1991, including 10,915 emergency room visits, 685 life-threatening reactions, 3,700 hospitalizations, 1,200 disabilities and 618 deaths.
Some of the officials involved in the agency’s 1991 decision to recommend that all infants receive the Hepatitis B vaccine also had close ties to vaccine manufacturers.
Dr. Sam Katz was the advisory committee chairman at the time. A professor at Duke, Katz said 30 percent of children who get the disease get it from unknown causes, possibly in daycare.
He said the CDC tried to give the shots to teens, but it was hard to get them to show up for all three doses.
“So they said, ‘Well, we’ve got a captive audience and we want to give it to the newborns anyways.’”
Katz developed a measles vaccine now manufactured by Merck, which also manufactures a Hepatitis B vaccine. Katz said when he was chairman of the committee in 1991 he also worked as a paid consultant for Merck, Wyeth and most major vaccine manufacturers.
Please be informed about the risks of disease and vaccines before you vaccinate your child.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information provided on A Jewel In The Making is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.