Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection.
There is a vaccine to protect against HBV. It is recommended for all newborn babies before they leave the hospital (usually within the first 24 hours of birth). The vaccine is required for elementary/secondary school participation. It is also recommended for adults who are at high risk for infection or anyone wishing to lower his/her risk of getting HBV.
The vaccine is available for infants, children, and adolescents through our Child and Adolescent Immunization Program. The vaccine is also available for adults. For more information about the HBV vaccine or to find out about receiving the vaccine, please contact our office.