Why Does the Government Recommend Vaccination for Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a type of serious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus, also commonly known as “HBV” or “Hep B.” In the United States, roughly 20,000 individuals contract Hepatitis B annually, with anywhere from 700,000 to 1.4 million people carrying the disease at any given moment in time. Worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that an estimated 240 million individuals are infected with HBV. Hepatitis B is most commonly spread through perinatal transmission (at birth), infected blood and other infected bodily fluids, and can be spread through reuse of syringes and needles (in both medical and non-medical settings).
Individuals who contract Hepatitis B can suffer severe consequences, including cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure. In many cases, chronic infections can be fatal.
About Hepatitis B Vaccination
To prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all infants get vaccinated by 18 months of age. It also recommends vaccination for unvaccinated adults. The CDC estimates that vaccination has led to an 82 percent decrease in cases of Hepatitis B since the introduction of routine vaccination in 1991.
Hepatitis B vaccines are typically administered in a series of three injections, with the second and third injections administered one and six months after the first, respectively.
Hepatitis B Vaccines Used in the United States
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved four different Hepatitis B vaccines for use in the United States. These are:
- Energix-B – A vaccine that is specific to Hepatitis B and received FDA approval in 1989 for pediatric and adult formulations;
- Recombivax HB – Another vaccine specific to Hepatitis B that has been used since 1986 for both children and adults;
- Pediarix – A combined vaccine for Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases (collectively known as “DTaP”) that is approved only for vaccination of children between the ages of six weeks and seven years;
- Twinrix – A combined vaccine for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B that is recommended only for adults.
Another Hepatitis B vaccine, Comvax, was discontinued in December 2014.
What are the Risks of Hepatitis B Vaccination?
Like all vaccines that are administered by injection, these Hepatitis B vaccines place recipients at risk for various complications. This includes shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, or “SIRVA.” There are a variety of types of SIRVA, many of which can have long lasting implications. Individuals who experience shoulder pain, reduced range of motion, frozen shoulder, bursitis, or rotator cuff injuries after being vaccinated against Hepatitis B should tell their doctor about their vaccination to help ensure a proper diagnosis.
For individuals with shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a no cost means for obtaining compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, victims of vaccine related injury can seek to recover their losses while encountering few of the challenges presented by traditional personal injury litigation. The Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery offers no-cost legal representation to shoulder injury victims nationwide. Contact us today to learn more.
Contact the Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery Today
To find out if you may be entitled to compensation for a shoulder injury resulting from a recent Hepatitis B vaccination we invite you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. Located in Washington DC, the Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery is capable of representing individuals suffering from SIRVA injuries nationwide.