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Hepatitis B Vaccine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is the hepatitis B vaccine?

The vaccine is an injection that helps protect you 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. You 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. A baby can be infected at birth if his or her mother has hepatitis B.

Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine?

The vaccine is given in 2, 3, or 4 doses. Your healthcare provider will tell you how many doses you need and when to get them. Vaccination is recommended for adults 59 or younger and those 60 or older at high risk for hepatitis B. Any adult 60 or older who wants the vaccine can also receive it. You are at high risk if any of the following is true:

Treatment options

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

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

Do not get the vaccine if you have a known allergy to yeast or any part of the vaccine. Do not get a second dose if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first. Wait to get the vaccine if you are sick or have a fever on the appointment day.

What are the risks of the hepatitis B vaccine?

The area where you got the shot may be sore. This usually gets better in 1 to 2 days. You may have a low fever. You may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

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

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.