This vaccine is used to help prevent infection from the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B infection can cause serious problems including liver failure, persistent hepatitis B infection, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Preventing infection can prevent these problems.
Hepatitis B vaccine is a genetically engineered (man-made in the laboratory) piece of the virus. It does not contain live virus, so you cannot get hepatitis from the vaccine. This vaccine works by helping the body produce immunity (through antibody production) that will prevent you from getting infection from hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B vaccine does not protect you from other virus infections (such as HIV virus which causes AIDS; hepatitis A, hepatitis C or hepatitis E; HPV virus which causes genital warts and other problems).
The vaccine is recommended for people of all ages, especially those at an increased risk of getting the infection. Those at an increased risk include health care personnel, laboratory workers who handle blood and patient specimens, police, fire and emergency medical personnel who give first aid treatment, hemophiliacs, dialysis patients, people who live with or spend much time with people with persistent hepatitis B infections, people with multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men, sex workers, injection drug abusers, and people traveling to high-risk areas.
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