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Hepatitis B Vaccine (cont.)

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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