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Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B Vaccine

One of the vaccines given in schools is called the hepatitis B vaccine. The name “hepatitis” comes from the Greek word hêpar meaning "liver", so it is not surprising to learn that hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver. Hepatitis B can cause serious health problems like permanent liver damage, liver cancer, and even death. 

The hepatitis B virus is spread when an infected person’s body fluids (usually blood) are shared with another person. Here are some examples of how this can happen:

  • A poke with a dirty needle that was used for injecting drugs.
  • Being splashed in the mouth, nose, or eyes with infected blood.
  • Getting a body piercing or tattoo with a dirty needle.
  • Sharing items that have blood on them such as a toothbrush, dental floss or razor.
  • Though intimate sexual contact. 

The hepatitis B virus is NOT spread by kissing, sneezing or coughing, or casual touch like hugging or holding hands. Hepatitis B is a sneaky virus. People can be infected with hepatitis B and not know it, but they can still spread the disease to others. 

The best way to make sure you don’t get hepatitis B is to get the hepatitis B vaccine. In some places in Canada this vaccine is given to infants. In other places it’s given in either grade 4, 5, 6 or 7. If you got this vaccine when you were younger, you won’t need to get it again in school. 

Watch the video to learn more about hepatitis B and how to prevent it. After watching the video, test your knowledge with the quiz and earn vaccines.

Sign up today to access quizzes and let your students earn vaccines for UNICEF!

Last modified: 
May 23, 2018