Hepatitis B Immunization
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recently recommended that all children and adolescents 12 years of age and younger who were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis B virus should be vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine. The recommendation also extends to high-risk individuals older than 12 years. This recommendation is aimed at reducing the incidence of hepatitis B in adolescents who engage in lifestyles that place them at risk for being infected. It is also intended to decrease the overall prevalence and transmission of hepatitis B in the general population in the long term. High-risk persons include:
- Men who have sex with men
- IV drug users and their partners
- Persons with a history of recent multiple sex partners or with a sexually transmitted disease.
- International travellers to areas known to be endemic to hepatitis B virus
- Persons in the health care field
Because hepatitis B in both acute and chronic cases can be a very serious illness we strongly recommend that you discuss current guidelines with your physician or your child's pediatrician.