Hepatitis B vaccine is safe & necessary

There is a reason one should not take healthcare or medical advice from daytime talk show producers with no college education: they don’t do science. And this is a real problem when they have some influence among people who do not vaccinate.

del3

Yes, that is this week’s message from Del B.  He crashed the Assembly Select Committee on Infectious Diseases in High Risk Disadvantaged Communities meeting, this week, in Sacramento, California, hosted by Assemblyman Mike A Gipson. State Senator Dr. Richard Pan was a speaker, as were numerous other experts on Hepatitis infections. Towards one hour, 40 minutes, the public were allowed to make 2 minute comments and that is when Del Bigtree speaks first. He questions the statistic that 10,000 kids under age 10 were infected, not by their mother,  with Hepatitis B before the vaccine was introduced. Del goes so far to imply Dr Pan made this up this data about Hepatitis B risk and that as long as women are tested for the disease, and are not carriers themselves, then newborns do not need this vaccine at all. Further, he makes some pretty outrageous claims that might lead someone to not choose this vaccine for their child:

  1. He infers the vaccine is the cause of USA having “highest infant infant death rate than all other western nations combined” and asks why we are not investigating that risk;
  2. Education alone could reduce Hepatitis B risk;
  3. The vaccine was only tested for 4 days during pre-licensing phase;
  4. The vaccine has 5X the recommended amount of aluminum;
  5. The vaccine wears off after 6 years;
  6. Saving 10,000 children a year (pre-vaccine numbers) from Hep B is not worth risking millions of other children’s lives by giving them this “dangerous” vaccine.

I am not sure why Del thinks this statistic is Dr Pan’s making ( he seems to think the science behind the California vaccine mandate law, SB277, all originates from Dr Pan) but I have taken some time to help Del understand the Hepatitis B risk and the vaccine safety.

What is Hep B?

Hepatitis B is a bloodborne pathogen transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. It can also be sexually transmitted but to say it is only transmitted via drugs or sex is incorrect.  It is a potentially life-threatening liver infection and a major global health problem.  An estimated 850,000–2.2 million persons in the United States have chronic hepatitis B virus infection. The rate of new HBV infections has declined by approximately 82% since 1991, when a national strategy to eliminate HBV infection was implemented in the United States. The decline has been greatest among children born since 1991, when routine vaccination of children was first recommended.

usincidenceofhbv-chart

(source)

Del’s concern 1: first day death

Del is concerned the vaccine is the cause of USA having “highest infant infant death rate than all other western nations combined” and asks why we are not investigating that risk.  Currently, the USA ranks 168 out of 224 countries in the infant mortality statistics (224 being the best infant mortality rate).  Monaco has the best IMR, at 1.82 deaths per 1000 live births, Afghanistan is the worst at 115.08 deaths per 1000 live births, and USA is in the top 1/3rd at 5.77 deaths per 1000 live births. Looking at the list, there are many countries in the 3-5 deaths per 1000 live births range, so USA is absolutely not faring the worst of all western countries nor has the highest IMR of all western nations combined. The CIA defines IMR as infants dying before age one.

For first day of life deaths, I looked at a report by published by Save the Children in 2013 that was funded by Johnson and Johnson, Gates Foundation, and Mattel. Having googled, this is the source cited by many news reports and likely what Del is quoting from. According to the report, the USA does have a high first day death rate with 11,300 newborn deaths a year. “This is 50% more first day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined.” Poverty and racial/ethnic makeup are linked to prematurity, low birth rate, and high first-day death rate. Prematurity is the single largest cause of first day death.  By far the most first day deaths occur in India, with several African countries, China, and Afghanistan also in the top ten worst countries. Somalia has the worst first day mortality statistic, at 18 deaths per 1000 live births. Being a larger country, India has more deaths but a lower statistic, at 11 deaths per 1000 live births. Iceland, Sweden, Singapore, Estonia, Cyprus, and Luxembourg have the best statistics, at less than 0.5 deaths per 1000 live births.

And where is the USA?  Three first day deaths per 1000 live births. We share that ranking with 19 other countries.  Yes, we could do better but it is not THAT bad. I would be more than willing to pay higher taxes to offset poverty and racial issues, insuring that all Americans have access to good food, decent living conditions, and universal healthcare. That would improve our IMR and first day death statistics tremendously.

The single greatest reason cited for our first day death statistic is poverty and race, both of which are also risk factors for prematurity. This has absolutely nothing to do with vaccines. 

Del’s concern 2: education

This is inexplicable to me. Does he really think education will prevent toddlers from biting each other and sharing their teething toys? Will education alone lead to people telling their partners about their disease status instead of hiding it and inadvertently spreading it? Education will do nothing for women who test negative for Hep B but really are positive. False tests results is a real issue.

Del’s concern 3: safety testing

Del is concerned that the Hep B vaccine was only tested for 4 days during pre-licensing phase. This comes from the insert, of course, and it is actually stated that children in the clinical trial were monitored for 5 days after the vaccine. Of course, we know the limitations of vaccine inserts.  Del, however, seems to be unaware of the safety and efficacy testing that is done after the insert was written. Let me give you a little research hint. If you want to find studies related to a vaccine, go do the CDC’s page for that vaccine and click on the information for providers and healthcare professionals. This is where they list the safety and efficacy studies.  The parent information section is written much more simply.  In the provider section, you can find a lot of research information, including the link to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP)’s document on Hepatitis B virus and vaccination. This document has a long list of safety and efficacy data, including data analysis from the vaccine safety datalink (VSD) and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). A great deal of safety study has been done AFTER the clinical trial.

Del’s concern 4: The vaccine has 5X the recommended amount of aluminum

The Hep B vaccine has between 0.225 to 0.5 mg/dose of aluminum. An FDA study found that the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines.  According to the Vaccine Eduction Center,  “infants receive about 4.4 milligrams of aluminum in the first six months of life from vaccines, they receive more than that in their diet. Breast-fed infants ingest about 7 milligrams, formula-fed infants ingest about 38 milligrams, and infants who are fed soy formula ingest almost 117 milligrams of aluminum during the first six months of life.” Thus, the vaccine does not have 5X the recommended amount of aluminum. It is likely Del is thinking of the recommended amount of aluminum for intravenous solutions. This is comparing apples to oranges. Vaccines are not IVs.  Here is information about IV feeding solutions and aluminum and here is the information about aluminum in vaccines. As you can see, antivaxers often get these confused.

Del’s concern 5: The vaccine wears off after 6 years

Del need not worry. “Studies indicate that immunologic memory remains intact for at least 20 years among healthy vaccinated individuals who initiated hepatitis B vaccination >6 months of age. The vaccine confers long-term protection against clinical illness and chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Cellular immunity appears to persist even though antibody levels might become low or decline below detectable levels.” (source)  The populations at risk for Hep B as adults are being studied to determine actual immunity rate. The first infants vaccinated with this vaccine are now in their early 20s and 30s, a great age to begin studying them for risk of Hepatitis B and duration of immunity with vaccination. To test immunity, scientists have to study those with Hep B infection to see if they were vaccinated. Del does not understand how this is done because he is, after all, a former producer of a day time talk show. One would not expect him to have any actual knowledge in science.

Del’s concern 6: This is a dangerous vaccine

The ACIP study included analysis of reports of adverse events and found no association between the vaccine and reports of chronic illness, alopecia, diabetes, Guillain-Barré syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or SIDS.  In other words, the Hepatitis B vaccine does not cause any of those health issues. The study also mentions the possibility of a yeast allergy connection. “Hepatitis B vaccination is contraindicated for persons with a history of hypersensitivity to yeast or to any vaccine component (92,189–191). Despite a theoretic risk for allergic reaction to vaccination in persons with allergy to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast), no evidence exists that documents adverse reactions after vaccination of persons with a history of yeast allergy.”  So, there is no reason to worry about a yeast allergy with the Hep B vaccine.

Del also wondered at the veracity of the number, 10,000, of children who were found to have Hepatitis B yearly, not from their mothers, pre-vaccine. This data comes from a study called Childhood Hepatitis B virus infections in the United States before Hepatitis B immunization.  If you have access to the full document, as I do through my university, you will see that vaccination for at-risk infants began in 1982 and was broadened to include all children in 1994.   Before the vaccine was recommended for all children in 1994,  30% of infected adults had no risk factors. Vaccinating only those infants from at-risk groups was not halting the spread of the infection to children. This was because of incomplete maternal screening and a “substantial proportion of infections occurred in children of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG)-negative mothers.” Let that sink in a bit. A substantial number of infections in children came from mothers who had tested negative. You got it. Testing all mothers doesn’t help. The study estimates that 16,000 children under the age of ten were infected with Hep B a year and that does not include the additional 15,000 children a year who acquired Hep B from their mothers, perinatally. Most of these 16,000 children had clinically silent infections that will lead to chronic liver infections later in life, with 25% leading to death.  The study concludes that routine vaccination of infants will save 2700 deaths a year.

Conclusion

It is clear to me, in reading all of the above, that the Hepatitis B vaccine has a strong safety record, does not contribute to US first day death rate nor SIDS rate nor infant mortality rate and does very much lead to healthier lives for American children.  What are the actual risks associated with the vaccine? Minor soreness for a few days or a mild fever are most common. Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) is possible with anything but they are very rare with this vaccine and would occur within a few hours.

As always, remember to think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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35 thoughts on “Hepatitis B vaccine is safe & necessary

  1. Two more points. First, Mr. Bigtree is wrong that the U.S. is alone in giving birth day hepatitis B. Both Australia and Israel, for example, do that.

    Second, Mr. Bigtree went to a panel to discuss a serious health concern. He opened by photographing himself saying the discussion of an infection that affects tens of thousands of lives a year will be boring, showing complete lack of caring. This panel wasn’t about him scoring points in an imaginary battle against Dr. Pan. It was about real live people.
    His attitude is shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hepatitis-B has never been a big problem in the US. Before the vaccine, there was less than one child under ten in 100,000 being diagnosed with hep-B. It was not a problem. Pregnant women have been routinely screened for decades, and theirs are the only infants who need the vaccine. Infants born to healthy mothers are not at risk and are many times more likely to be disabled or killed by the vaccine than they are to be saved from hep-B by it. Well over 90% of those who get hep-B recover from it naturally within weeks or months, with permanent immunity. While very dangerous for babies, by the time a child is five, he has a very high probability of recovering from it in a short time if he gets it. And it is not transmitted casually. Not by sharing drinking glasses or tableware, or sleeping in the same bed. It is transmitted by infected blood or body fluids. Those who have hep-B and share a toothbrush with their blood on it, or who share a razorblade with their blood on it, may transmit it to the child if he rubs it on an open wound. Other than that, children do not get it, and very few adults have it to start with. Most of those who eventually get cirrhosis or liver cancer and die do so because they are alcoholics or drug addicts and have compromised their liver with their habits. Not a reason to damage innocent children.

      The vaccine has proven to be extremely dangerous, and it is a crime that it continues to be routinely given at birth without permission, despite the large number of deaths and cases of permanent disability it has caused.

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      • “Hepatitis-B has never been a big problem in the US. Before the vaccine, there was less than one child under ten in 100,000 being diagnosed with hep-B. It was not a problem.”

        Oh, really? So you are cool with almost two thousand deaths per year attributed to HepB in the USA:
        https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/statistics/index.htm

        “Pregnant women have been routinely screened for decades, and theirs are the only infants who need the vaccine.”

        So what about the false negative results?

        “Infants born to healthy mothers are not at risk and are many times more likely to be disabled or killed by the vaccine than they are to be saved from hep-B by it.”

        Please provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show the HepB vaccine series causes more harm in the USA than the disease. Check the statistics, so the data should have at least 1800 deaths. They must be confirmed and not unverified VAERS reports.

        “And it is not transmitted casually.”

        Actually it is. Plus the younger one gets it the more chance of them getting chronic hepatiatis b:
        http://www.pkids.org/diseases/hepatitis/pediatric_hepatitis_report.html

        Liked by 1 person

      • As I have told you many times on disqus (along with Mike and the rest), Hep B infected 10,000 American children under the age of 10 a year before the vax was recommended to infants. There are links galore in this blog post to prove it. Yes, children were getting Hep B from casual contact or their family members. It was a HUGE problem. Thanks the vaccine, it is not a problem anymore.

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      • Ah, so it is Cia.

        I cannot respect anyone who claims their child had encephalitis but never got any medical help. My kid actually has had trips in ambulances and consults with actual neurologists.

        Just this past week he had another complex migraine. Fortunately we learned from the one that sent him to the hospital six years ago thinking it was a stroke (the 911 operator heard his disordered speech), and dealt with it. So no two mile $700 trip to a hospital we can see from our house!

        Yay! He is much better today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My first child, the autistic one, was colicky. Because she was born extremely sensitive to lights, sounds, etc. Not because of vaccines. How do I know? Because I saw the first LOTR when she was in utero and she kicked up a storm during that entire film, it was so loud. And, no, I had had no vaccines during pregnancy. She was, is, and will always be autistic and extremely sensitive to sounds, light and crowds.

        Glad yours is better! We never stop worrying, do we?

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Because I saw the first LOTR when she was in utero and she kicked up a storm during that entire film, it was so loud.”

        🙂

        When we were watching something that was not so terribly loud, I got a kick where I swear I saw the shape of a little foot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am not surprised. My kid very much disliked carnival rides, transitions and a few other things. He is not a fan of loud noises, but he did go see LOTR, because he was old enough to get lost in it.

        One thing that was odd was he did not like things out of place. I would leave a ladder out after changing a battery in the smoke alarm, and then I would see him dragging the ladder back to its closet.

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      • oh now she likes those movies, but at home, where she can control the volume.

        That is funny about the ladder. I am a chronic straightener, myself. Things have to be at a 90degree angle or perpendicular. I do not like off angles!

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  2. Actually, I have been unable to find the the additional licensure studies for Hep B. I have reached out to both the CDC and the manufacturer and have not heard back.

    The document that I do have says 4 days and that’s the only one I have been able to find.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I looked at the links in Del’s Concern No. 3: Safety Testing, and there were no safety tests beyond four days. Screaming syndrome and vaccine encephalitis were not mentioned at all. My newborn reacted to the hep-B vaccine with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming, vaccine encephalitis, beginning nearly four days after the vaccination was given without permission, and was later diagnosed with autism. Judy Converse, who testified at the congressional safety hearing on this vaccine in 1999, wrote a book about her newborn’s encephalitic reaction to the vaccine: When Your Doctor is Wrong: The Hepatitis-B Vaccine and Autism. Her baby, like mine, was given the shot at the hospital without his parents’ knowledge or permission. Hospitals are permitted to overlook the law requiring informed consent to vaccines. Patti White also testified, saying that the sudden tsunami of autism suddenly hitting Missouri kindergartners beginning in 1996, five years after the hep-B vaccine started to be given to all newborns, was caused by their having reacted with vaccine encephalitis to the hep-B vaccine.

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      • You seem to have misunderstood the insert, in that case, as Del did. His comment is taken from this insert: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM224503.pdf “In 36 clinical studies, a total of 13,495 doses of ENGERIX-B were administered to 5,071 healthy
        145 adults and children who were initially seronegative for hepatitis B markers, and healthy
        146 neonates. All subjects were monitored for 4 days post-administration. Frequency of adverse
        147 events tended to decrease with successive doses of ENGERIX-B.”

        The vaccine is a three dose vaccine. So we are talking about monitoring people closely for four days after each dose, over six months – even there, he misunderstood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think you, Andre and Del don’t understand how vaccine safety testing is done. Clinical trials sometimes only last a a week or a few weeks or a month, but there is another level of safety research beyond clinical trials. You need to read more than inserts. I recommend you read the Vaccine Safety Datalink and this link:

        “Post-Licensure Monitoring of Vaccines
        A variety of systems monitor vaccines after they have been approved. They include Phase IV trials, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and the Vaccine Safety Datalink.

        Phase IV Trials
        Phase IV trial are optional studies that drug companies may conduct after a vaccine is released. The manufacturer may continue to test the vaccine for safety, efficacy, and other potential uses.”

        https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation

        Cia, I have heard your story ad nauseum. Please don’t clog up my blog with your story. I have seen it 50million times on disqus already. We already know it is false.

        Like

      • Yeah, I figured it was Cia.

        She claimed it was encephalitis, but never consulted a real medical care provider. I say this as someone whose newborn was transported by ambulance from the birth hospital to a children’s hospital after neonatal seizures… and again was transported to a children’s hospital when he had more seizures from an actual disease.

        The latter was because I actually called 911!!!

        Sorry, I cannot accept the story of some “awful thing” happened when someone did not even bother to get medical care help. More than once I have encountered some similar story only to find out that they did not bother call for help. The stories include things like “seizures”, “convulsions” and other symptoms. But when I as what happened when they called “911”, I get silence. Apparently those symptoms did not warrant any kind of emergency response.

        Come on, folks! Get real medical help! And if is as significant as Cia’s story, it would have been worth enough for a PubMed indexed case report.

        By the way, newborns cry… lots. There is something called “Purple Crying” that happens. This is when newborns cry constantly to the point it leads to shaking… which is bad. Cia has been told this over and over and over again. I experienced some of this even though my kid did not get a HepB vaccine (too old), and did not come home until he was over a week old (seizures, see second paragraph above). It is a thing that has nothing to do with vaccines:
        https://www.dontshake.org/purple-crying

        Also, autism is genetic. It is just a bad roll of the genetic dice. Unfortunately since Cia has a PhD in Spanish and then became a lawyer, she had trouble accepting that her child is not perfect. I understand that since I used to be an aerospace engineer. I just chose to not play the blame game and got help for my kid. Plus he is almost thirty years old and my head was not poisoned by the nonsense on teh internets.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Truth about vaccines episode 5: HPV, Hep B, SIDS, and Shaken Baby Syndrome | vaccinesworkblog

  4. Pingback: 10 Things I Want Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids To Know | vaccinesworkblog

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