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Hepatitis Update 2017

Unlike Hepatitis A, which does not cause a long-term infection, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections. Chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can cause serious conditions, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. More than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are related to Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.¹

Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers. Recent outbreaks in the US have been in healthcare settings. Appropriate infection prevention protocols that include personal protection (e.g. gloves, masks, gowns) and surface disinfectants must be available.

Vaccination can help prevent Hepatitis B:

  • Adult formulation Recombivax HB is licensed for use as a catch-up vaccination in children age 11 through 15 as a 2-dose series.
  • Hepatitis B is also included in the adult immunization schedule for adults who lack documentation, have certain medical conditions and other indications.

Helpful Resources

CDC - The 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus: Looking Back to Look Forward. An overview presentation on the Hepatitis C Virus, its impact both globally and in the U.S., and treatment responses.

CDC – Hepatitis Resource Center. Professional tools, patient education materials, and other helpful resources to promote Hepatitis testing, vaccination, and patient care.

Infant & Childhood Immunization 2017

Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases.

  • Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the U.S.
  • Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct costs.
  • The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.

Helpful Resources

CDC - Just the Facts to Help Providers Discuss HPV Vaccination with Parents. This resource includes eight facts about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine with detailed references, including information about the vaccine’s safety, usage, and effectiveness.

CDC - 2017 Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children.The CDC has released new recommendations to child/adolescent vaccination schedules. Key changes include:

  • HepB (hepatitis B):The 2016 recommendation to vaccinate before hospital discharge has been updated in 2017 to vaccinate within 24 hours of birth.
  • Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine):Hiberix has been added as a viable vaccine to the series.
  • MenB (meningococcal group B):Under Clinical Discretion there are new and very specific recommendations regarding the timing of dosage for young adults 16-23 years.
  • Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acelluar pertussis):In 2016, the recommendation was that children who received a catch-up dose between 7-10 years should not receive an adolescent dose at age 11 – 12 years. In 2017, the recommendation is that an adolescent dose at age 11 through 12 may be administered.
CDC - Current Issues in Immunization NetConference: Update on 2017 Child/Adolescent Immunization Schedule. Replay of a CDC webcast on updates to the 2017 child/adolescent immunization schedule presented by Candice L. Robinson, MD, MPH, Communications and Education Branch, Immunization Services Division, NCIRD, CDC.

Providers can earn CE credits after taking the 1 hour course by logging onto the CDC Training and Education Online site (Login or Register as New Participant) and the course is under keyword search WC2661. CE Credits for this course expire May 1, 2017!p>