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Hepatitis A and B Vaccination

hepatitis vaccine

Hepatitis A & B vaccination is available today. Aside from the treatment options accessible nowadays, the privilege of having a vaccine is already a medical breakthrough. But what does hepatitis A & B mean? How can someone avail of the vaccines and get protected from the infection? Read on to know more.

What is Hepatitis A & B?

Recognized by its capacity to cause liver infection, hepatitis A is one of the many types of hepatitis illness. This specific illness targets the liver, making this organ unable to perform its major functions. Individuals acquire hepatitis A from contaminated food and water. Other than that, you can get this illness through close contact with someone who has the virus. Its major symptoms are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pain in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

Meanwhile, hepatitis B is also known for its infection involving the liver. However, the infection can become chronic. It could last for six months, even for many years. When hepatitis B is left untreated, it could lead to liver cancer, liver failure, or even cirrhosis. Its major symptoms are as follows:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Severe pain in the muscles and joints
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained weakness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

While both of these types share common complications, hepatitis B is the more chronic in terms of viral suspension in the body. Its symptoms can be more severe compared to hepatitis A. Other than that, its treatment process can go longer than expected. People with Hepatitis B can also acquire other health complications if the illness is left untreated.

Getting the Vaccine

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Prior to receiving the hepatitis vaccine, individuals are needed to be assessed first. It is done to ensure that the individual who will get the shot is safe enough and will not cause any complications. Below are the guidelines involving the people who should receive the hepatitis A vaccine.

  • Individuals who are involved in male-to-male sex
  • Infants who are still 6 – 11 months
  • Children who are 12 – 23 months
  • Any individual who engages in the illegal use of drugs
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic liver infection
  • People who travel often, most especially to nations that have recorded high cases of hepatitis A

If an individual has known hypersensitivity or allergy to the vaccine or its ingredients, they are not allowed to get the shot. Note that hypersensitivity can be fatal. For pregnant women, speak with your healthcare professional first before getting a shot. There is no concrete evidence stating the safety of the hepatitis A vaccine during pregnancy.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Before getting the hepatitis B vaccine, a medical assessment is necessary. Since hepatitis B is chronic, the vaccine is highly significant. The following are the guidelines involving the people who should receive the hepatitis B vaccine.

  • Newborns
  • Individuals who are involved in male-to-male sex
  • Individuals who have a history with STD
  • Individuals who are diagnosed with HIV
  • People who travel often, most especially to nations that have recorded high cases of hepatitis B
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease
  • Individuals who engage in drug abuse, especially those who share needles and syringes
  • Adults who are under 19 years old

If an individual has known hypersensitivity or allergy to the vaccine or its ingredients, they are not allowed to get the shot. Note that hypersensitivity can be fatal.

How Hepatitis A & B Vaccines are Given?

Hepatitis A involves two doses, which are given 6 months apart. On the other hand, hepatitis B involves 3 – 4 doses. Usually, the group of people given these shots are children who are 12 – 23 months old and 1 – 6 months old, respectively. Part of the guideline involving hepatitis vaccination is the early administration of vaccines to children. The main reason for this factor is to help children become protected at an early age. If you are an adult, vaccination for hepatitis is also possible. However, you need to discuss this first with your doctor and learn what you need to do to get the shot.

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