Adolescent Vaccination Recommendation:
The hepatitis B vaccine should be given to any adolescent through 18 years of age who was not immunized as an infant or young child. Hepatitis B vaccines are given as multiple doses over a specified time.
About hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Transmission of the disease occurs when an individual comes into contact with the blood, semen, or other body fluid of an infected person.
Many people with hepatitis B do not present any symptoms, and therefore, doctors use blood tests to diagnose the disease. To diagnose infection, healthcare professionals can screen for hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg), hepatitis B surface antibodies (HBsAb), and hepatitis B core antibodies (HBcAb). Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic. Acute HBV infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after someone is exposed to the virus. Symptoms may include loss of appetite, tiredness, stomachache, nausea, and vomiting. People infected might also experience yellowing of the whites of the eyes (jaundice) and/or joint pain.
Acute infection can, but does not always, lead to chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when HBV remains in a person’s body. Chronic hepatitis B disease greatly increases the risk of long-term health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with chronic HBV infection usually do not feel sick for many years. However, a person infected with HBV can still infect others even if they do not feel sick or show symptoms.
HBV vaccines provide greater than 90 percent protection to those immunized before being exposed to the virus.