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Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine is a vaccine developed for the prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. The vaccine contains one of the viral envelope proteins, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). After a course of three (3) vaccine injections, an immune system antibody to HBsAg is established in the bloodstream. The antibody is known as anti-HBsAg. This antibody and immune system memory then provide immunity to hepatitis B infection.
Additional recommended knowledge
The vaccine was originally prepared from plasma obtained from patients who had long-standing hepatitis B infections. However, vaccines currently used in the United States are made using recombinant DNA technology. The two types of vaccines are considered equally effective. In the United States, two of the newer recombinant vaccines are Engerix-B (made by GlaxoSmithKline), and Recombivax HB (made by Merck). The recombinant vaccines consist of proteins produced in modified yeast cultures. Unlike plasma-derived vaccines, these recombinant vaccines are not produced using human cell lines or human tissue material.
Infection with hepatitis B may lead to hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer. Therefore, the hepatitis-B vaccines are cancer-preventing vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the hepatitis B vaccine was the first anti-cancer vaccine.
Babies born to mothers with active hepatitis B infections are recommended to receive treatment reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of the hepatitis B infection. As soon as possible and within 48 hours of birth, newborns are vaccinated with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and injected with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG).
Many countries now routinely vaccinate infants against hepatitis B. In countries with high rates of hepatitis B infection, vaccination of newborns has not only reduced the risk of infection, but has also led to marked reduction in liver cancer. This was reported in Taiwan where the implementation of a nationwide hepatitis B vaccination program in 1984 was associated with a decline in the incidence of childhood hepatocellular carcinoma.
In many areas, vaccination against hepatitis B is also required for all health-care workers. Some college campus housing units now require proof of vaccination as a prerequisite.
At least one study suggests that hepatitis B vaccination is less effective in patients with HIV.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hepatitis_B_vaccine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.