The Perinatal Hepatitis B program focuses on preventing transmission of the Hepatitis B virus from pregnant women to their newborns. The program provides education, counseling, free blood testing, vaccination, case management of newborns, and collaboration with private providers and hospitals.
Hepatitis B is often referred to as the silent infection because most people do not have noticeable symptoms when they are first infected.
The Florida Department of Health recommends that all pregnant women be tested for the Hepatitis B virus because of the risk of passing the disease on during vaginal birth.
Infants exposed to Hepatitis B must be vaccinated in the first 12 hours of life. In addition, they must receive second and third doses of the vaccine at one and six months of age to ensure complete protection. Post vaccine blood testing should be done between 9-12 months of age.
Babies that get the appropriate shots have a 95% chance of being safe from Hepatitis B for life.