Originally Posted by alwaysonthago
**for example, the only way of contracting hepatitus b is by sharing needles or a blood transfusion. Is there any chance of that happening to your child?!?! absolutely not! Yet your baby will probably recieve that vaccination in the hospital!!! Can you think of a possible reason why that is necessary?!?!
Hepatitis B can be transmitted from mother to child during birth. It is given to newborns in case of undiagnosed hepatitis B in the mother (though if the mother is known to be infected, additional treatment is given to the newborn). Since persons infected with hepatitis B as infants are more likely to be infected for life, it is important to avoid being infected as an infant.
Note that about 40% of hepatitis B cases involve people with no known risk factor or obvious cause. Considering that infants crawl around and could hurt themselves or put things in their mouth, it would also mean that infants are not completely risk free. Plus, if a blood transfusion is needed, better to be immune beforehand than worrying about the very small chance of an infected unit of donor blood.
In terms of other infectious diseases, these days it is even more important for people to get vaccinated, since the increasing number of people who are not vaccinated means an increasing number of disease vectors to give infectious diseases to you.