Hepatitis B Vaccine
This vaccine gives protection against hepatitis B.
What is hepatitis B?
There are several different types of hepatitis and they all cause inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis B virus is passed through infected blood and may also be sexually transmitted. Some people carry the virus in their blood without actually having the disease itself.
If a pregnant woman is a hepatitis B carrier, or gets the disease during pregnancy, she can pass it on to her child. The child may not be ill but has a high chance of becoming a carrier and developing liver disease later in life.
Can this be prevented?
Yes, many pregnant women are tested for hepatitis B during their ante-natal care. Babies born to infected mothers should receive a course of vaccine to prevent them getting hepatitis B and becoming a carrier. The first dose should be given within two days of birth, and two more doses should be given before the child is six months.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects of the vaccine tend to be quite mild. The injection site is often red and can be sore for a few days afterwards.
If a mother has hepatitis B is it still safe to breastfeed?
Yes, you are still safe to breastfeed as long as the baby is immunised.
This information has been sourced from Health Promotion England.