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Alternative Names Return to topVaccine - hepatitis B; Immunization - hepatitis B
Definition Return to top
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against hepatitis B, a serious disease that damages the liver. The vaccine is one of the recommended childhood immunizations.
Information Return to top
WHO SHOULD GET THIS VACCINE
The hepatitis B vaccine is given to children in a a series of three injections (shots).
For infants who do not receive the first shot until 4 to 8 weeks, the second shot is given at 4 months and the third at 6 to 16 months. In either instance, the second and third shots are given along with other routine childhood immunizations.
Adolescents who have not been vaccinated should begin the hepatitis B vaccine series at the earliest possible date.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS
Most infants who receive the hepatitis B vaccine have no side effects. Others may have minor problems, such as soreness and redness at the injection site or a mild fever. Serious problems are rare and are mainly due to allergic reactions to a component of the vaccine.
If the child is ill with something more serious than a cold, the hepatitis B vaccine may be delayed.
If the child has a severe allergic reaction to baker's yeast, they should not receive this vaccine.
If severe allergic reaction occurs after receiving the vaccine, no further hepatitis B vaccines should be given to the child.
CALL YOUR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF:
References Return to top
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents--United States, 2008. Pediatrics. 2008 Jan;121(1):219-20.
Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 7–18 Years--United States, 2008. MMWR. October 19, 2007 / 56(41);Q1-Q4.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, October 2007-September 2008. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Nov 20;147(10):725-9.Update Date: 6/16/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.