Hepatitis B Vaccines – All You Need To Know

hep-b-668x288Hepatitis B vaccine: Why get vaccinated?

Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, and the serious consequences of hepatitis B infection, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B vaccine may be given by itself or in the same shot with other vaccines.

Who should get hepatitis B vaccine and when?

Children and Adolescents

Babies normally get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine:

1st Dose:         Birth

2nd Dose:       1-2 months of age

3rd Dose:        6-18 months of age

Some babies might get 4 doses, for example, if a combination vaccine containing hepatitis B is used. (This is a single shot containing several vaccines.) The extra dose is not harmful.

• Anyone through 18 years of age who didn’t get the vaccine when they were younger should also be vaccinated.


All unvaccinated adults at risk for hepatitis B infection should be vaccinated.

This includes:

–                        Sex partners of people infected with hepatitis B,

–                        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 under 60 years of age with diabetes,

–                        People with jobs that expose them to human blood or other body fluids.

–                        Household contacts of people infected with hepatitis B,

–                        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.

Other people may be encouraged by their doctor to get hepatitis B vaccine; for example, adults 60 and older with diabetes. Anyone else who wants to be protected from hepatitis B infection may get the vaccine.

Pregnant women who are at risk for one of the reasons stated above should be vaccinated. Other pregnant women who want protection may be vaccinated.

Adults getting hepatitis B vaccine should get 3 doses —with the second dose given 4 weeks after the first and the third dose 5 months after the second. Your doctor can tell you about other dosing schedules that might be used in certain circumstances.

Who should not get hepatitis B vaccine?

•           Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to yeast, or to any other component of the vaccine, should not get hepatitis B vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.

•           Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine should not get another dose.

•           Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should probably wait until they recover before getting the vaccine.

Your doctor can give you more information about these precautions.

Note: You might be asked to wait 28 days before donating blood after getting hepatitis B vaccine. This is because the screening test could mistake vaccine in the bloodstream (which is not infectious) for hepatitis B infection.


 Source: WHO

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