Hepatitis A Vaccine (HepA)

Worldwide, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year.

The word “hepatitis” means “inflammation of the liver”. When someone gets hepatitis, the liver’s ability to function becomes compromised.

If you’ve been walking this planet for the last decade, you may have heard of the term “hepatitis” thrown around followed by a letter. There are actually several different viruses that cause several different types of hepatitis diseases–hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F (unconfirmed), and possibly G. Some symptoms are similar, however there are different modes of transmission for these viruses and they can affect the liver in different ways. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B (HepB vaccine), and hepatitis C, are the three types you hear about the most often. While the two latter forms more often cause a chronic condition, hepatitis A tends to appear more often as an acute (short-lived) disease.

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How are vaccines made and released to the public?

A vaccine’s main goal is to teach your immune system to recognize and remember a bacteria or virus.
The word “vaccination” means to stimulate the immune system to make antibodies against the bacteria or virus targeted by the vaccine.
“Immunization” is different; it’s used in relation to injecting a person with pre-formed antibodies to a particular disease to make the person immune to it.
These terms are often used interchangeably, and that’s just fine, however it’s important to understand that these are two very different ways of creating immunity to a disease.

Hepatitis B (HepB) Vaccine


The hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) used currently in the United States is synthetically made from recombinant DNA. Let me break that statement down and tell you exactly what it means. This vaccine is considered synthetic because it is entirely made in a lab and contains no human blood products. Why would it ever contain human blood, you ask. Well, the virus is found in human blood, so you may suspect that human blood would be used to make the vaccine. In this case, no human products are ever used in the making of the vaccine, and let me tell you why: because of the use of recombinant DNA techniques.

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