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Vaccination & Immunization Message Board


Vaccination & Immunization Board Index


[I]I dont really see the need in getting the Hep B. vaccine??I mean.... im not going to feed my child feces so why should I give him the vaccine?
Is hep B that risky?
I dont even know the harm it can cause.[/I]I


I don't think alot of Dr's do a good job of explaining the risks of hepatitis B


Universal vaccination of infants for
hepatitis B is important to protect them both from infection in
early childhood as well as from infection later in life. The
risk of infections are different when you get them. If you get
infected as an infant, one, you're likely to have no symptoms
at all. You're likely to never know you were infected. And you
have a 90 percent chance of becoming a chronic carrier. And
about a quarter of those go on to develop either liver cancer
or cirrhosis of the liver 20 to 40 years or so afterwards, and
they may never know how they got it. So we vaccinate them
because the risk of the consequences of hepatitis B is much
more severe, the younger you are. Contrast that with an adult.
An adult who gets infected with hepatitis B, they have only a 6
to 10 percent chance of becoming a chronic carrier. About more
than one-third of all chronic carriers in the United States are
believed to be from childhood infections.


As far as how your child can get it, the presumption for
childhood transmission is, one, there is transmission from
mother to affected baby if the mother is a chronic carrier.
Aside from that, we think it may be perhaps from sharing
washcloths with abraded skin; bites that might occur that would
break the skin; children with rashes who might be exposed to
someone bleeding. And about 10 percent of the infections overall are occurring by 9 years of age. Just because you and your children might not have any of the risk factors, that doesn't prevent a child that your's plays with, cutting himself, and possibly transferring it to your child.

A chronic carrier might not show symtoms for 20-30 years, however they are still contagious.





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