Do YOU need hepatitis B vaccine?

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New indication for an old vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory committee on Immunization Practices (the organization that tells us doctors when, why, and which vaccines) is now recommending hepatitis B vaccine series to unvaccinated adults less than 60 years old with diabetes.

In a study with 91,000 adults it was found that those with diabetes have a nearly two-fold increased risk of hepatitis B infection. Inadequately cleaned blood glucose monitors were identified as the most likely source of infection spread: glucose-monitor sharing in households, work site health clinics, schools, and diabetes camps.

Take home points:

  • Know there are risks in sharing glucose meters even if the glucose strips and lancets are new.
  • Call your insurance company to be aware if they will cover (the 3 hepatitis B vaccines) the cost.

Others who need hepatitis B vaccine are

  • sexually active with multiple sex partners
  • homosexual and bisexual males
  • household contacts of those with hepatitis B
  • IV drug users
  • healthcare workers
  • patients on chronic hemodialysis or receiving blood products (like with hemophilia)
  • chronic liver disease
  • all unvaccinated persons in areas of “intermediate to high levels” of endemic hepatitis B infection

Hope this helps.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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