Vaccines – Hepatitis A and B

January/February ISSN-1059-6518 Volume 25 Number 1

By Frank Hubbell, DO

What is Hepatitis?


By definition hepatitis is inflammation of the hepatocytes, the cells of the liver. This inflammation can be caused by alcohol, drugs, toxins, autoimmune diseases, cancer, or infectious disease. In this article we will focus on inflammation caused by an infection from a virus, specifically Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).


There are at least 5 different viruses that cause hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. The only ones for which we have vaccines, so far, are Hepatitis A and B. A vaccine for hepatitis C is in development. (There is also suspected hepatitis F and G that are currently under investigation.)


Who Cares? What does your liver do?

Read more


November/December 2011  ISSN-1059-6518  Volume 24 Number 6

Vaccines and Our Immune System

 By Frank Hubbell, DO


What is the Immune System?


A better way to ask this simple question is, “what protects us against infectious disease”? Simply answered, it is our immune system. The whole purpose of the immune system is to recognize self from non-self. Any type of cell or protein that does not belong in us will be found, recognized, and destroyed by our immune system.


This defense system, against invading pathogens, is a multilayered system. The first layer of defense is the physical barrier, our skin. The second layer is the innate immune system, which is an immediate reaction to a threat, but very non-specific. The final layer of defense is the adaptive or acquired immune system. Although this system is slower to respond, it is very specific, and it produces an immune memory. It is this system, adaptive immunity, that our bodies take advantage of to create immunity against various diseases by using vaccines.

Read more