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Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable disease

Which Diseases Do Vaccines Protect Against?1

The Canadian publicly funded health care system offers protection against 13 vaccine-preventable diseases, TB protection in certain areas and HPV vaccine for older children.

Hepatitis B2

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It can be spread from an infected mother to an infant during birth. If you are pregnant and infected with hepatitis B, your infant is at high risk of becoming a chronic carrier. In Canada, it is recommended that infants born to infected mothers receive the first dose of vaccine within 12 hours after birth to help prevent them from developing hepatitis B.

The symptoms of hepatitis B include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, dark urine, pale stools, and joint and stomach pain. People with chronic hepatitis B infection (who don’t develop symptoms but are still infected) have a risk of infecting others with the virus; they can also develop serious liver damage or liver cancer.

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine-preventable diseases.
    Accessed March 17, 2016.
  2. Public health Agency of Canada Hepatitis B – Get the Facts. Accessed February 27, 2014.