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Does your child need a hepatitis B vaccine?

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…

Q: I like to plan ahead, so I’ve been talking to my daughter’s pediatrician about what she’ll need in preparation for starting school in the fall. He mentioned a hepatitis B vaccine, which left me kind of confused. Isn’t hepatitis B like HIV in that it’s transmitted through body fluids? Is my daughter really at risk for something like that? Am I wrong in thinking she doesn’t need that vaccination?

Dr. Wright: You’re not wrong: The hepatitis B vaccine was designed specifically for “high-risk” groups, like drug users, prostitutes, and others. When these groups wouldn’t cooperate with the hepatitis B vaccination program, los Federales decided that, suddenly, children “need” to be vaccinated, even though their risk of hepatitis B is small. But what makes this shift in focus more outrageous is that giving children the hepatitis B vaccination triples their risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

When researchers analyzed hepatitis B vaccination statistics from 163 individuals with multiple sclerosis and 1,604 “controls,” they found a correlation between getting the hepatitis B vaccine and developing multiple sclerosis. Specifically, the results indicated that the risk of developing multiple sclerosis was three times higher in the group that was vaccinated against hepatitis B than in the group that wasn’t vaccinated. By contrast, individuals given tetanus and influenza vaccinations had no significant extra risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Of course, even though it was a Harvard study, it wasn’t covered in any of the typical media outlets. It just isn’t politically correct to challenge the current religion of vaccinating children against every hiccup and hangnail — regardless of whether it’s safe or even necessary at all.

Sources:
“Recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and risk of multiple sclerosis: a prospective study.” Neurology 2004 Sep 14;63(5):838-42