Hepatitis B Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Hepatitis B Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Why get vaccinated?
is a serious disease that affects the . It is caused by the virus. can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness.
virus infection can be either acute or chronic.
Acutevirus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the virus. This can lead to:
- , , of appetite, nausea, and/or vomiting
- jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements)
- pain in muscles, , and stomach
Chronicvirus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the virus remains in a person's body. Most people who go on to develop chronic do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to:
- liver damage (
- liver cancer
Chronically-infected people can spread
is spread when blood, , or other body fluid infected with the virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the through:
- (a baby whose mother is infected can be infected at or after birth)
- Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
- Contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- Sex with an infected partner
- Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments
Each year about 2,000 people in the United States die from hepatitis B-related liver disease.
can prevent and its consequences, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Hepatitis B vaccine
is made from parts of the virus. It cannot cause infection. The vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 shots over a 6-month period.
Infants should get their first dose of at and will usually complete the series at 6 months of .
All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated.
is recommended for unvaccinated adults who are at risk for virus infection, including:
- People whose sex partners have hepatitis
- Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term monogamous relationship
- Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sexual with other men
- People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- People who have household contact with someone infected with the virus
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids
- Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled persons
- Persons in correctional facilities
- Victims of sexual assault or abuse
- Travelers to regions with increased rates of
- People with chronic liver disease, kidney disease, HIV infection, or diabetes
- Anyone who wants to be protected from
There are no known risks to gettingat the same time as other vaccines.
Some people should not get this vaccine.
Tell the person who is giving the vaccine:
- If the person getting the vaccine has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
If you ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of , or have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, you may be advised not to get vaccinated. Ask your health care provider if you want information about vaccine components.
- If the person getting the vaccine is not feeling well.
If you have a mild illness, such as a cold, you can probably get the vaccine today. If you are moderately or severely ill, you should probably wait until you recover. Your doctor can advise you.
Risks of a vaccine reaction
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.
Most people who getdo not have any problems with it.
Minor problems followinginclude:
- soreness where the shot was given
- temperature of 99.9°F or higher
If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1 or 2 days.
Your doctor can tell you more about these reactions.
Other problems that could happen after this vaccine:
- People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
- Some people get shoulder pain that can be more severe and longer-lasting than the more routine soreness that can follow injections. This happens very rarely.
- Any can cause a severe . Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at about 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.
The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/
What if there is a serious problem?
What should I look for?
- Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe
Signs of a severecan include , swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, , and weakness. These would usually start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. , very high , or unusual behavior.
What should I do?
- If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can't wait, call 9-1-1 or get the person to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your clinic
Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor should file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS web site at www.vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
VAERS does not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation. There is a time limit to file a claim for.
How can I learn more?
- Ask your healthcare provider. He or she can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
- Call your local or state health department.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or
- Visit CDC's website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Manyare available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Muchas hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis.