Hepatitis B Prevention Tips

Published on: 11/07/2013

Facts About Preventable Diseases: Hepatitis B

  • Hepatitis B is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages in the United States and around the world. In 2003, an estimated 92,000 people contracted hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the United States.
  • Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is an acute illness with short-term effects such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, redness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) and pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.
  • The long term effects of Hepatitis B can result in a life-long infection, cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and even DEATH   
  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood and body fluids of infected persons.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine is 80% to 95% effective in preventing HBV infection and clinical hepatitis among susceptible children and adults and vaccine recipients are virtually 100% protected against clinical illness.
  • The recommended immunization schedule for children and young adults is aimed at controlling the transmission of Hepatitis B and its complications.


  • Vaccination is aimed at preventing the disease ONLY and it has no effect on a person already suffering from Hepatitis B
  • Three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine are required to maintain a level of protection. The vaccine serie is only recommended once in lifetime, except for special circumstances as determined by a physician
  • The childhood and young adults immunization schedule for the United States of America recommends Hepatitis B vaccination as follows: At birth, at one month and at six months of age the Hepatitis B Series MUST be completed upon middle school entrance
  • For information on how to get vaccinated please call:
    Children and young adults: 305-663-6853
    Employees and other adults: 305-666-6511 ext:2636

Who is at Risk?

  • baby born to a mother who is infected with the condition
  • a job that exposes you to human blood 
  • share a household with someone who has lifelong hepatitis B infection 
  • have sex with a person infected with hepatitis B have sex with more than one partner during a six-month period 
  • received blood a transfusion(s) BEFORE 1975
  • a person whose parents were born in Asia, Africa, the Amazon Basin of South America, the Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East 
  • were born in an area listed above/were adopted from an area listed above 
  • are an Alaska native
  • have hemophilia
  • are a patient or worker in an institution for the developmentally disabled 
  • inject drugs 
  • inmates of a long-term correctional facility 
  • travel internationally to areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis B

To receive more information on how to get your family and/or children vaccinated, please call the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine and Community Pediatrics at 305-663-6853.
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