Navajo County

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Navajo County Public Health Services
Nursing Services
Hepatitus B Vaccine

Hepatitis B is a serious disease.

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can cause short-term (acute) illness that leads to:

  • loss of appetite
  • tiredness
  • pain in muscles, joints and stomach
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)

It can also cause long-term (chronic) illness that leads to:

  • liver damage (cirrhosis)
  • liver cancer
  • death

About 1.25 million people in the U.S. have chronic HBV infection.

Each year it is estimated that:

  • 80,000 people, mostly young adults, get infected with HBV
  • More than 11,000 people have to stay in the hospital because of hepatitis B

More than 11,000 people have to stay in the hospital because of hepatitis B

Heptatis B virus is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person. A person can get infected in several ways, such as:

  • by having unprotected sex with an infected person
  • by sharing needles when injecting illegal drugs
  • by sharing needles when injecting illegal drugs
  • during birth when the virus passes from an infected mother to her baby

About 1/3 of people who are infected with hepatitis B in the United States don’t know how they got it.

People should get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine according to the following schedule. If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over.

Hepatitis B Vaccination Schedule WHO?
  Infant whose mother is infected with hepatitis B Virus Infant whose mother is not infected with hepatitis B Virus Older child, adolescent, or adult
W
H
E
N
?
First Dose Within 12 hours of birth Birth - 2 months of age Anytime
Second Dose 1 - 2 months of age 1 - 4 months of age (at least 1 month after first dose) 1 - 2 months after first dose
Third Dose 6 months of age 6 - 18 months of age 4 - 6 months after first dose
  • The second dose must be given at least 1 month after the first dose.
  • The thrid dose must be given at least 2 months after the second dose and at least 4 months after the first.
  • The third dose should not be given to infants under 6 months of age, because this could reduce long-term protection.

For more information, visit your local health department or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona Department of Health.

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