SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis B vaccine. Close-up of gloved hands drawing hepatitis B vaccine into a syringe from a small bottle. Hepatitis B is a viral disease that causes acute liver inflammation and can sometimes be fatal. Although there is no cure, most victims eventually recover. Some, however, go on to devel- op chronic hepatitis or complications like cirrho- sis and liver cancer. The vaccine is usually only recommended for high-risk groups, such as male ho- mosexuals and needle-sharing drug addicts. It con- sists of proteins from the surface coat of the he- patitis B virus, manufactured by genetically engi- neered yeast. The vaccine activates the patient's immune system by stimulating antibody production.
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