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Hepatitis B

Vaccination for HBV

Hepatitis B is a very serious viral disease that can cause severe damage to the liver. This virus—known as hepatitis B virus or HBV—can lead to permanent infection, and can cause prolonged liver damage.

Some possible effects of hepatitis B include:

  • Scarring or “cirrhosis” of the liver
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Death

HBV is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Scenarios includes sexual intercourse, sharing needles or syringes, and from mother to baby during delivery. The hepatitis B vaccine is highly effective in protecting people from contracting HBV and is safe for people of all ages. There are no serious side effects connected with the hepatitis B vaccine.

It is very important that children get vaccinated against hepatitis B. The risk of developing a chronic infection from hepatitis B is much higher for infants. About 90% of infants who are infected will develop the chronic form of the infection—compared to only 2% to 6% of infected adults.

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