Hepatitis B Vaccine (cont.)
In this Article
- What is hepatitis B?
- Hepatitis B vaccine: Why get vaccinated?
- Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine and when?
- Who should NOT get the hepatitis B vaccine?
- What are the risks from the hepatitis B vaccine?
- What if there is a moderate or severe reaction?
- The National Vaccine Injury Compenation Program
- How can I learn more?
Hepatitis B vaccine: Why get vaccinated?
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, and the serious consequences of HBV infection, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Routine hepatitis B vaccination of U.S. children began in 1991. Since then, the reported incidence of acute hepatitis B among children and adolescents has dropped by more than 95% – and by 75% in all age groups.
Hepatitis B vaccine is made from a part of the hepatitis B virus. It cannot cause HBV infection.
Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as a series of 3 or 4 shots. This vaccine series gives long-term protection from HBV infection, possibly lifelong.
Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine and when?
Children and Adolescents
- All children should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and should have completed the vaccine series by 6-18 months of age.
- Children and adolescents through 18 years of age who did not get the vaccine when they were younger should also be vaccinated.
- All unvaccinated adults at risk for HBV infection should be vaccinated. This includes:
- sex partners of people infected with HBV,
- men who have sex with men,
- people who inject street drugs,
- people with more than one sex partner,
- people with chronic liver or kidney disease,
- people with jobs that expose them to human blood,
- household contacts of people infected with HBV,
- residents and staff in institutions for the developmentally disabled,
- kidney dialysis patients,
- people who travel to countries where hepatitis B is common,
- people with HIV infection.
- Anyone else who wants to be protected from HBV infection may be vaccinated.
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