(Sponsored)- The CDC recently announced that it universally recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all adults ages 19 through 59*. This announcement comes as hepatitis B rates are on the rise in our communities and yet, there is a vaccine to protect adults against this potentially deadly disease.[i]

V is spread through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids and is 100 times more infectious than HIV. An estimated 2.5 million Americans are living with hepatitis B infections. If left unmanaged, one in four of these individuals may die from liver failure or cancer. Over the past decade, the hepatitis B virus infection rate has been increasing among American adults.[ii] While effective vaccination can prevent the disease, it is estimated that 75-percent of U.S. adults are not currently vaccinated against hepatitis B.[iii]

A new recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), published recently, advises that all American adults 19 through 59* years old get vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV). There is no cure for hepatitis B, but vaccination can prevent the disease.

Beginning in 1991, infants began getting vaccinated against HBV at birth. While this led to a dramatic reduction of hepatitis B infection rates among children, many adults born before the hepatitis B vaccine mandate, are still unprotected and at risk for infection. 

Three-dose HBV vaccines administered over the course of six months have been approved in the United States since 1981, but three out of four adults did not complete the three-dose series, which may leave them unprotected.[iv] Since 2018, a two-dose vaccine option has been available and can be completed in one month.

The recent CDC recommendation, coupled with the availability of this more convenient two-dose vaccine, are important events in the country’s strategic plan to eliminate hepatitis B by 2030 and protect thousands of individuals from serious illness or death.

Dr. Arun Jesudian is a Transplant Hepatologist who specializes in the medical management of all types of liver disease, including viral hepatitis B and C, alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), autoimmune liver disease, inherited and metabolic liver disorders, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma