Hepatitis B Basic Information
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. It results from infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can be either “acute” or “chronic.”
Acute Hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis B virus. Acute infection can — but does not always — lead to chronic infection.
Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body.
Hepatitis B is a very safe vaccine. Most people do not have any problems with it.
Mild problems reported
Soreness where the shot was given (up to about 1 person 4)
Temperature of 99.9°F or higher (up to about 1 person in 15).
Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses.
A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. More than 100 million people have gotten hepatitis B vaccine in the United States.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
Some people should not get hepatitis B vaccine or should wait.
Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker’s yeast, or to any other component of the vaccine, should not get hepatitis B vaccine. Tell your provider if you have any severe allergies.
Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine should not get another dose.
Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should probably wait until they recover before getting the vaccine.
Pregnant women who need protection from HBV infection may be vaccinated.
Your provider can give you more information about these precautions.