According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccine-preventable childhood diseases in the United States are near an all-time low. But, some viruses and bacteria are still active and can cause serious illness. It is important that all children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time. In other countries, many vaccine-preventable diseases are relatively common. Because of travel, these diseases could return to the US, resulting in increased, and unnecessary, illness, disability, and death among children.
Immunizations start at birth. The first immunization given is the hepatitis B vaccine. Listed below are some facts about hepatitis B:
Hepatitis B vaccine will prevent this disease. This vaccine is given to nearly all newborns. Additional doses are given before the age of 18 months. If newborns are exposed to hepatitis B before, during, or after birth, both the vaccine and a special hepatitis B immune globulin dose are given within 12 hours of birth. The other two doses of the vaccine are also given before the age of 18 months.