Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B is mainly sexually transmitted. This can be spread through contact with infectious body fluids such as blood, vaginal secretions or semen containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Sharing razors or injection with an infected perso

Updated: December 9, 2017

It is important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time.  Vaccines also protect teenagers and adults to keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Hepatitis B is mainly sexually transmitted. This can be spread through contact with infectious body fluids such as blood, vaginal secretions or semen containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Sharing razors or injection with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B. This may also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth. Hepatitis B is also preventable with immunization. Hepatitis B virus infection can be either acute or chronic. 
Acute hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is infected by the hepatitis B virus. This can lead to:
  • fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
  • jaundice, a disease in which you will have yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements
  • pain in muscles, joints, and stomach
Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in the body of a person for long time.  Although people who develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms most of the time, but it is still very serious and can lead to:
  •     liver damage or cirrhosis
  •     liver cancer
  •     death
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B and its consequences, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B vaccine:

Hepatitis B vaccine is made from parts of the hepatitis B virus to prevent hepatitis B infection. Usually the vaccine is given as 3 or 4 shots over a 6-month period.
Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at the time of birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age.
All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet given the vaccine should also be vaccinated.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults who are not vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B virus infection. The risk includes:
  • People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
  • People who have household contact with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
  • Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids
  • Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled persons
  • Travelers to regions with increased rates of hepatitis B
  • Persons in correctional facilities
  • Victims of sexual assault or abuse
  • People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
  • Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term monogamous relationship
  • Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
  • Men who have sexual contact with other men
  • People with chronic liver disease, kidney disease, HIV infection, or diabetes
  • Anyone who wants to be protected from hepatitis B
Hepatitis B vaccine is safe and can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
You should not get Hepatitis A vaccine if:
  • you ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of hepatitis B vaccine, or have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine
  • you are moderately or severely ill. You should probably wait until you recover.

Risks of Hepatitis A vaccine:

There are chances of side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Serious reactions are also possible but are rare.
Some of the mild Problems following hepatitis B vaccine include:
  •     soreness or redness where the shot was given
  •     low-grade fever
  •     headache
  •     tiredness
Usually these problems begin soon after the shot and last 1 or 2 days. You can get more information about the reaction from your doctor.

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

  • Sometimes people faint after vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting. If you feel dizzy, have vision changes or ringing in the ears, speak to your doctor.
  • In some cases severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given could happen.
  • A severe allergic reaction would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • There is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death. The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. You can get all the information from Vaccine Safety site.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes , call 9-1-1 or find the nearest hospital.
The reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) through the VAERS website or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
If you are injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim in  National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website to get the compensation.

Learn more about Vaccine:

Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
You can call your local or state health department or can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by:
        Calling 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
        Visiting  CDC vaccines website


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