Hepatitis B Vaccine
Why get vaccinated against hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness.
Hepatitis B virus infection can be either acute or chronic.
Acute hepatitis B virus infectionis a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis B virus. This can lead to:
Chronic hepatitis B virus infectionis a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person's body. Most people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to:
Chronically infected people can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they do not feel or look sick themselves. Up to 1.4 million people in the United States may have chronic hepatitis B infection. About 90% of infants who get hepatitis B become chronically infected, and about 1 out of 4 of them dies.
Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus through:
Each year about 2,000 people in the United States die from hepatitis B–related liver disease.
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B and its consequences, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Who should receive the hepatitis B vaccine and when?
Hepatitis B vaccine is made from parts of the hepatitis B virus. It cannot cause hepatitis B infection. The vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots over 1 to 6 months.
Infantsshould get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age.
Allchildren and adolescentsyounger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for unvaccinatedadultswho are at risk for hepatitis B virus infection, including:
There are no known risks to getting hepatitis B vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.
Who should not receive the hepatitis B vaccine?
Tell the person who is giving the vaccine:
What are the risks from hepatitis B vaccine?
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.
Most people who get hepatitis B vaccine do not have any problems with it.
Minor problemsfollowing hepatitis B vaccine include the following:
If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1 or 2 days.
Your doctor can tell you more about these reactions.
Other problems that could happen after this vaccine:
What if there is a serious problem?
What should I look for?
What should I do?
VAERS does not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling1-800-338-2382or visiting the VICP website athttp://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
How can I learn more?
Hepatitis B Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program. 10/12/2018.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: December 15, 2018.
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