Childhood diseases in the United States are near an all-time low. Government experts say this is because of vaccinations. But some viruses and bacteria are still around and can cause serious illness. This is why all children, especially infants and young children, get the recommended shots on schedule.
Many diseases that are controlled by vaccinations in the U.S. are not controlled in other countries. Travelers sometimes bring those diseases to the U.S. This causes children here to become sick or disabled, and some children die because they didn’t get their shots.
Experts who treat children’s diseases also recommend that infants get all their shots because it may help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
What is the hepatitis B vaccine?
Babies normally get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine to protect against hepatitis B virus (HPV). The first dose is given right after birth. The second dose at 1 to 2 months and the third dose at 6 to 18 months. Here are some reasons why hepatitis B is a dangerous disease:
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Most people who have hepatitis B don’t have symptoms at first; this is especially true as a person gets older. The most common symptoms are:
Yellow skin or eyes
Loss of appetite
Young people who get HBV are more likely to stay infected and have life-long problems with their liver. For example, scarring of the liver and liver cancer.
A mother who has hepatitis B can give it to her baby. It is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person, or by having sex with an infected person. Sharing objects, such as toothbrushes or razors with an infected person can also spread the disease.
The HBV shot will prevent this disease.
If babies are exposed to HBV before, during, or after birth, both a shot and a special treatment called HBV immune globulin within 12 hours of birth.