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Old 05-06-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Parents, do your due diligence on vaccination! There are serious risks!!

Hepatitis B Vaccination For Babies – Is It Really Necessary?
By Kelly Winder

One of the most deferred, and declined, vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule is the hepatitis B vaccination, given at birth.

Whether your baby has the vaccine, or not, is another of those decisions that you, as a parent, need to make for your baby. No one else can make it for you.

Nothing can ever replace doing your own research, and feeling confident about what you decide is right for your family. To begin the process of decision-making, here are some of the facts and information you’ll need.

But don’t just take my word for it. Seek out more information to cross check what you know, and what you discover here.

Firstly, here is some basic information about hepatitis B.

What Is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver and causes inflammation. The virus can be transmitted between individuals through infected blood and body fluids.

You cannot contract hepatitis B from coughing, sneezing, kissing, hugging, holding hands, or sharing crockery and utensils.

Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic.

An acute infection is a newly diagnosed infection. According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, most healthy adults who are infected with hepatitis B do not have any symptoms, and their immune system is able to get rid of the virus without any problems.

Those who have cleared the hepatitis B virus will always show hepatitis B antibodies in their blood, but they won’t become infected again. They are classed as being immune.

Those who cannot get rid of the virus after six months are classed as having a chronic infection.

How Common Is Hepatitis B In Australia?

Australia is categorised as a ‘low prevalence’ country for hepatitis B. The virus affects around 1% of the population.

In 2013, approximately 210,000 people were living with chronic hepatitis B infection.

According to an article in Australian Family Physician, “two-thirds of Australians living with CHB [chronic hepatitis B] were born overseas, in endemic countries, or identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander”.

The article also states: “The increased prevalence of CHB in Australia is primarily due to increased migration from endemic countries”.

Groups At Risk For Contracting Hepatitis B

In Australia, and around the world, there are specific groups that are at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B.

In the United States, more than 50% of Americans with chronic hepatitis B infections are of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. In Australia, we have a similar situation, with the level at around 40%.

Here is a checklist to see if your baby is at risk of hepatitis B exposure.

Do any of these apply to your baby?

Having sex with a man who has sex with other men? (3% prevalence)
Sharing needles with a drug addict? (4% prevalence)
Being a migrant from a hepatitis B endemic country? (8% prevalence)
Being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent (4% prevalence)
Being an inmate of a correctional facility?
Born from a hepatitis B positive mother?
From 2009 to 2013, the most frequently reported source of exposure (where a source was identified) was injection drug use.

Preventing Risk For Babies

I certainly do not want to downplay the seriousness of this disease.

In fact, the younger a person is at the time of contracting hepatitis B, the more likely the disease will become chronic. The important thing you need to decide is whether the risks outweigh the benefits, or not.

It’s highly unlikely that a newborn baby will be getting a tattoo in the backstreets of an endemic country, or sharing needles with a hepatitis B positive baby in the nursery.

In all seriousness, the most likely way newborn babies would contract hepatitis B is via an infection from their mothers.

If a baby’s mother is not hepatitis B positive, the chances her baby will contract hepatitis B within days of birth are extraordinarily low.

cont. at: Hepatitis B Vaccination For Babies - Is It Really Necessary? | BellyBelly
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