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Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B Vaccine

The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective and is usually given as 3-4 shots over a 6-month period.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for:
• All infants, starting with the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth
• All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not been vaccinated
• People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
• Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
• Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
• Men who have sexual contact with other men
• People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
• People who have close household contact with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
• Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids on the job
• People with end-stage renal disease, including pre-dialysis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and home dialysis patients
• Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled persons
• Travelers to regions with moderate or high rates of hepatitis B
• People with chronic liver disease
• People with HIV infection
• Anyone who wishes to be protected from hepatitis B virus infection
Hepatitis B is a very safe vaccine. Most people do not have any problems with it but a vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction.

What are the risks from hepatitis B vaccine?

Hepatitis B is a very safe vaccine. Most people do not have any problems with it.
The vaccine contains non-infectious material, and cannot cause hepatitis B infection.
Some mild problems have been reported
• Soreness where the shot was given (up to about 1 person in 4)
• Temperature of 99.9°F or higher (up to about 1 person in 15).

Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses.
A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. More than 100 million people in the United States have been vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine.

For Children and Adolescents

All children should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and complete the vaccine series by 6–18 months of age. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies so that they will be protected from a serious but preventable disease. Babies and young children are at much greater risk for developing a chronic infection if infected, but the vaccine can prevent this.
All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated. "Catch-up" vaccination is recommended for children and adolescents who were never vaccinated or who did not get the entire vaccine series.

For Adults

Any adult who is at risk for hepatitis B virus infection or who wants to be vaccinated should talk to a health professional about getting the vaccine series. Knowing which vaccines you need is an important step toward protecting your health and that of your family and friends.  Getting vaccines on time helps prevent illness before you’re exposed.
Talk with your health care provider about the vaccines that might be recommended for your age, health status, and lifestyle.

Source:
http://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/hepatitis_b/index.html   
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hep-a.pdf 

Additional Resources

Hepatitis B: Are you at risk?

What Patients Need To Know About Safe Medical Injections

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