Immune serum globulin vaccine helps prevent hepatitis B infection, a virus that infects the liver. Half of the people who are infected with the virus generally do not show signs or symptoms, but can still pass the disease along to others through blood and other body fluids. Travelers to high-risk areas, healthcare workers who work around blood, and people who have undergone treatment for kidney disease are particularly at risk.
Some may not show signs of the disease, but others may have fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes). Most people recover from the disease, but a few become carriers and transmit the disease throughout their lifetimes.
All children should get the vaccine before early adolescence, including infants of pregnant women who are infected. Others who should receive the vaccine include people who are traveling to high-risk areas, are in contact with blood (healthcare workers) or have had hemodialysis. Children under the age of 7 who have immigrated to North America also need the vaccination.
Those who have had allergic reactions to components of the vaccine should not receive it.
The vaccine is usually administered in three doses over a six-month period, but this often depends on where you live. Speak to your doctor about the best options for you and your family.
Side effects of the immune serum globulin vaccine include redness and soreness in the injection area.
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