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Hepatitis B Vaccine for Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is the hepatitis B vaccine?

The vaccine is an injection that helps protect your child from the virus that causes hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection. The virus is usually spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Your child can also get it by touching an object that has the virus on it. The virus can live on an object for up to 7 days. Your baby can be infected during birth if his or her mother has hepatitis B.

When should my child get the hepatitis B vaccine?

The hepatitis B vaccine is usually given in 3 doses. Your baby may need an additional dose depending on his or her weight and risk for hepatitis B. The vaccine is often given with polio, DTaP, pneumococcal, and Hib vaccines. Your child may need these or other childhood vaccines at certain ages. Contact your child's healthcare provider to schedule a catch-up dose if any routine dose is missed:

Recommended Hepatitis B Immunization Schedule

What increases my child's risk for hepatitis B?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are reasons my child should not get the hepatitis B vaccine or should wait to get it?

Your child should not get the hepatitis B vaccine if he or she has a severe allergy to yeast. Your child should not get a second dose if the first caused a severe allergic reaction. Ask about ingredients in the vaccine that can trigger a reaction if your child has a severe allergy. Wait to get the vaccine if your child is sick or has a fever on the appointment day.

What are the risks of the hepatitis B vaccine?

The area where your child got the shot may be sore. This should get better in 1 to 2 days. Your child may have a low fever. An allergic reaction to the vaccine may happen after any dose. The reaction can be life-threatening.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.