Hepatitis B (HBV) Immunizations
Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can cause a short-term illness that leads to a loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), muscle, joint and stomach pain. It can also cause liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer and death.
Who Should Receive the Vaccine and When?
Everyone under the age of 18 should receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine is given in three doses.
For an infant whose mother is infected with HBV:
- First dose: within 12 hours of birth
- Second dose: one to two months of age
- Third dose: six months of age
For an infant whose mother is not infected with HBV:
- First dose: birth to two months of age
- Second dose: one to four months of age (at least one month after first dose)
- Third dose: six to 18 months of age
For an older child or adolescent:
- First dose: anytime
- Second dose: one to two months after the first dose
- Third dose: four to six months after the first dose
Who Shouldn't Receive the Vaccine?
People shouldn't get the hepatitis B vaccine if they have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to baker's yeast (the kind used for making bread) or to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
People who are ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they feel better.
What are the Risks from the Hepatitis B vaccine?
Like other medicines, a vaccine is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of hepatitis B vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention