Newborns really aren't at risk for Hep B unless the mom or other person living in the household is Hep B positive.
Age group: These data indicates acute, symptomatic hepatitis B rates differ by age; the highest rates were observed among persons aged 15-44 years; the lowest rates were among persons aged < 15 years. In 2008, rates were highest for persons aged 25-44 years (2.6 cases per 100,000 population); the lowest rates were among children < 15 years (0.02 cases per 100,000 population) (Slide 3b).
For infants and children, the two primary sources of HBVinfection are perinatal transmission from infected mothers and horizontal transmission from infected household contacts.
Adolescents are at risk for HBV infection primarily through high-risk sexual activity (i.e., sex with more than one partnerand male sexual activity with other males) and injection-druguse (21).
Transmission of HBV via transfusion of blood andplasma-derived products is rare because of donor screeningfor HBsAg and viral inactivation procedures.
but I think I remember a thread where it was discussed that the only reason the Hep B vaccine was mandate to be given shortly after birth was for economic reasons so that third world countries could afford the vaccines
I think it is because it is easier to vaccinate a baby not at risk for hep B than the adolescent/adults who are at risk for it ( IV drug user, homosexual men,promiscuous heterosexuals ect)
The Hepatitis B vaccine was effectively mandated in 1991 for universal immunization of newborn babies by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) -- an adjunct of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Paradoxically, the CDC's own Fact Sheet on the Hepatitis B disease does not include newborn babies as a risk group for that disease. That Fact Sheet lists the risk groups as injection drug users, homosexual men, sexually active heterosexuals, infants/children of immigrants from disease-endemic areas, low socio-economic level, sexual/household contacts of infected persons, infants born to infected mothers, health care workers and hemodialysis patients NOT NEWBORN BABIES.
Question: Why then, did the ACIP establish a policy mandating that newborn babies not at risk of the disease be automatically administered the 3-shot Hepatitis B vaccine as their first involuntary indoctrination into the pediatric care of America?
Answer: Here is that rationale from the original ACIP 1991 statement establishing the official vaccination policy "Hepatitis B Virus: A Comprehensive Strategy for Eliminating Transmission in the United States Through Universal Childhood Vaccination ..." "In the United States, most infections occur among adults and adolescents ... The recommended strategy for preventing these infections has been the selective vaccination of persons with identified risk factors ... However, this strategy has not lowered the incidence of Hepatitis B, primarily because vaccinating persons engaged in high-risk behaviors, life-styles, or occupations before they become infected generally has not been feasible ... Efforts to vaccinate persons in the major risk groups have had limited success. For example, programs directed at injecting drug users failed to motivate them to receive three doses of vaccine ... In the United States it has become evident that HBV transmission cannot be prevented through vaccinating only the groups at high risk of infection ... In the long term, universal infant vaccination would eliminate the need for vaccinating adolescents and high-risk adults ... Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother ... The first dose can be administered during the newborn period, preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital, but no later than when the infant is 2 months of age ..." (emphasis added).
So in the CDC and ACIP's own words, almost every newborn U.S. baby is now greeted on its entry into the world by a vaccine injection against a sexually transmitted disease for which the baby is not at risk -- because they couldn't get the junkies, prostitutes, homosexuals and promiscuous heterosexuals to take the vaccine. That is the essence of the Hepatitis B universal vaccination program.
Question: What are the risks and benefits for administering this vaccine to infants?
Answer: Hepatitis B is a rare, mainly blood-transmitted disease. In 1996, only 54 cases of the disease were reported to the CDC in the 0-1 age group. There were 3.9 million births that year, so the observed incidence of hepatitis B in the 0-1 age group was just 0.001%. In the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), there were 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0-1 age group, with 47 deaths reported. Total VAERS Hepatitis B reports for the 0-1 age group outnumber reported cases of the disease 20 to 1.