a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 590.5 

Guest: Dr. Susan Goldstein, Nat’l Immunization Program, CDC 

Topic: Immunizing adolescents against hepatitis B 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Protecting teens from hepatitis...coming up... 

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma - the National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332- 6362. 

NEMA: Most of the 200 thousand new cases of hepatitis B seen in the U.S. each year are people between the ages of 15 and 39. And more and more states, counties, and towns are deciding to implement a vaccination program against the disease that kills 5 thousand of us each year...This is Dr. Susan Goldstein of the Centers for Disease Control...  

GOLDSTEIN: Most hepatitis in the United States is actually acquired after age 15, so we need to make sure kids are vaccinated when they’re adolescents...before they reach the mid teen years, when they begin to engage in high risk behaviors. And we thought that 11 to 12 years of age was young enough that we would be able to vaccinate them before they engage in high risk behaviors, but also they...it was an age at which were still able to access them.  

NEMA: While hepatitis is seen as a sexually transmitted disease, many kids get it by sharing toothbrushes, nail clippers...or by body piercing with the same instrument. Goldstein says the hepatitis vaccine is one of the best around...  

GOLDSTEIN: It’s a very safe vaccine...and it’s a very effective vaccine. It’s given as a three dose series. The most common side effects are pain at the site of infection and occasionally somebody will develop a mild fever. But there are very, very rarely reports of any kind of severe reaction, and no one has even died from getting the vaccine.  

NEMA: I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.