Hepatitis B

What does the Hepatitis B vaccine do?

This vaccine protects you against a disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is available for children and adults at ID Care.

How many doses will I need?

Long-lasting immunity requires three to four doses of the HBV vaccine. Depending on the type of vaccine delivered, many times it’s given as a series of shots. Children should receive their first dose at birth and complete the series by six months of age. Typically, the second dose is given when the infant is one month old and the third dose when the child is six months old.

Who is the vaccine recommended for?

The HBV vaccine is recommended for adults who:

  • Are sexually active with or live in the same house as a person with HBV
  • Are sexually active with more than one partner
  • Seek care in a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing or treatment, or drug treatment
  • Men who have sex with other men
  • People who inject drugs or have a job that involves contact with human blood
  • People who are on the staff of or a client in an institution for the developmentally disabled
  • Hemodialysis patients or those with end-stage renal disease
  • People with HIV
  • Dialysis patients
  • Those with chronic liver disease
  • Those who live or travel for more than six months a year in countries where Hepatitis B is common (such as China and other parts of Asia, the Amazon, and southern parts of Eastern and Central Europe)
  • Prisoners in a correctional facility

Who shouldn’t receive the vaccine?

  • Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker’s yeast or any other component of the vaccine
  • Anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of the HBV vaccine
  • Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of the vaccine is scheduled should wait until they recover fully before getting the vaccine

Are there any side effects or risks associated with the vaccine?

The HBV vaccine is very safe, and most people will not experience any issues after having it. One in four people will
experience soreness where the injection was given, and about one in fifteen people will experience a fever of 99.9°F or higher. Severe problems are infrequent, and allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses. Although vaccines can cause serious reactions — just like any medicine can — the risk of it causing severe harm or death is extremely small. Over 100 million people in the United States have been vaccinated with the HBV vaccine to date.