Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule For Adults
Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that involves inflammation of the liver.
The hepatitis B virus usually leads to a short-term infection known as acute hepatitis B. If their infection is left untreated, some people develop chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B is a serious, permanent condition that can cause organ damage, cirrhosis , liver cancer, liver failure, and even death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , all people should be vaccinated against hepatitis B starting at birth. Adults who are at risk of developing hepatitis B should also receive the vaccine, which is highly effective in preventing infection.
Read on to learn more about the hepatitis B vaccine for adults, including who should receive it, the details of the dosage schedule, side effects, and more.
Prasit photo / Getty Images
How Is A Hepatitis B Vaccine Given
A health care provider gives the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot injected into a muscle, usually in the arm for adults and children older than 1 year and in the thigh for infants and children younger than 1 year. Vaccination with a hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as a series of injections over a period of time, depending on the specific brand of the vaccine. Read any printed information that your health care provider gives you about the hepatitis B vaccine.
Read Also: Hepatitis B E Antibody Reactive Means
Persons With Chronic Diseases
Refer to Immunization of Persons with Chronic Diseases in Part 3 for additional general information about vaccination of people with chronic diseases.
Chronic renal disease and patients on dialysis
People with chronic renal disease may respond sub-optimally to HB vaccine and experience more rapid decline of anti-HBs titres, and are therefore recommended immunization with a higher vaccine dose. Individuals undergoing chronic dialysis are also at increased risk for HB infection. In people with chronic renal disease anti-HBs titre should be evaluated annually and booster doses using a higher vaccine dose should be given as necessary.
People with conditions such as autism spectrum disorders or demyelinating disorders should receive all routinely recommended immunizations, including HB-containing vaccine.
Chronic liver disease
HB immunization is recommended for non-immune persons with chronic liver disease, including those infected with hepatitis C, because they are at risk of more severe disease if infection occurs. Vaccination should be completed early in the course of the disease, as the immune response to vaccine is suboptimal in advanced liver disease. Post-immunization serologic testing may be used to confirm vaccine response.
Non-malignant hematologic disorders
Persons with bleeding disorders and other people receiving repeated infusions of blood or blood products are considered to be at higher risk of contracting HB and should be offered HB vaccine.
Recommended Reading: Is Hiv The Same As Hepatitis
Hepatitis A And B Vaccine Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
numbness, pain, tingling, weakness, burning or prickly feeling, vision or hearing problems, trouble breathing
Common side effects of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may include:
redness or tenderness where the shot was given
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.
Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals, as necessary. In many countries outside of Canada, HB vaccine is in limited use.
All persons from a country that is endemic for HB should be assessed and vaccinated against HB if not immune and not infected. Individuals born in developing countries are more likely to be carriers of HB, necessitating vaccination of their sexual and household contacts based on review of their serologic test results. HB vaccine is recommended for all household contacts whose families have immigrated to Canada from areas in which there is a high prevalence of HB and who may be exposed to HB carriers through their extended families or when visiting their country of origin.
Children adopted from countries in which there is a high prevalence of HB infection should be screened for HBsAg and, if positive, household or close contacts in the adopting family should be immunized before adoption or as soon as possible thereafter. Adults going to pick-up children from these countries should be vaccinated before departure. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional information.
Recommended Reading: Male Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
Accelerated Us Children And Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedules
*Please note that the first dose should be given as soon as possible. Additional doses require minimum time intervals between doses in order for the vaccine to be effective.
In some instances, it may be necessary to vaccinate within a short period of time to ensure protection before travel. There are accelerated schedules to provide the highest level of protection over a short period of time. Individuals who need an accelerated schedule must have a booster dose at 1 year to ensure long-term protection. Note that the 2-dose Heplisav-B vaccine will also ensure maximum protection over a 1-month period without the need for a booster dose at 1 year.
4-Dose Vaccine Series for Children and Adults
Engerix-B is a 3-dose vaccine that can be given on an accelerated, four-dose schedule, with 3 shots administered within 2 months, and a booster dose at 1 year to provide maximum long-term protection.
4-Dose Combination Hepatitis A and B Vaccine Series
Twinrix is a 4-dose vaccine that can be given on an accelerated schedule to provide protection against hepatitis A and B. Three doses are administered within 1 month, followed by a booster shot at 1 year. This is a common choice of vaccine for those travelling on short-notice outside the U.S. It is important to complete the booster dose at 1 year, to ensure long-term protection.
2-Dose Vaccine Series
Additional Resource Links:
Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices provide recommendations for the hepatitis B vaccine. The following include persons recommended to receive the hepatitis B vaccination :
- Adults aged 60 years and older with risk factors for hepatitis B:
Persons at risk for infection by sexual exposure
- Sex partners of persons testing positive for HBsAg
- Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
- Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted infection
- Men who have sex with men
Persons at risk for infection by percutaneous or mucosal exposure to blood
For booster/revaccination recommendations, see Booster Dose Vaccination below.
Also Check: Medication For Hepatitis B Infection
Hepatitis B Vaccine On The Nhs
A hepatitis B-containing vaccine is provided for all babies born in the UK on or after 1 August 2017. This is given as part of the 6-in-1 vaccine.
Hospitals, GP surgeries and sexual health or GUM clinics usually provide the hepatitis B vaccination free of charge for anyone at risk of infection.
GPs are not obliged to provide the hepatitis B vaccine on the NHS if you’re not thought to be at risk.
GPs may charge for the hepatitis B vaccine if you want it as a travel vaccine, or they may refer you to a travel clinic for a private vaccination. The current cost of the vaccine is around £50 a dose.
What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus . The infection can range in severity from mild to acute. It may last just a few weeks or become a serious, chronic, and potentially fatal health condition.
The best way to prevent this infection is to get the hepatitis B vaccine. Heres what you need to know.
You May Like: Tenofovir Hepatitis B Side Effects
Transmission Symptoms And Treatment
How is HBV transmitted?
HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids , including
- sex with a partner who has HBV infection
- injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
- birth to a person who has HBV infection
- contact with blood from or open sores on a person who has HBV infection
- exposures to needle sticks or sharp instruments and
- sharing certain items with a person who has HBV infection that can break the skin or mucous membranes , potentially resulting in exposure to blood.
How long does HBV survive outside the body?
HBV can survive outside the body and remains infectious for at least 7 days .
What should be used to clean environmental surfaces potentially contaminated with HBV?
Any blood spills should be disinfected using a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to 9 parts water. Gloves should be worn when cleaning up any blood spills.
Who is at risk for HBV infection?
The following populations are at increased risk for becoming infected with HBV:
- Infants born to people with HBV infection
- Sex partners of people with HBV infection
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Household contacts or sexual partners of known people with chronic HBV infection
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for occupational exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
- Patients on hemodialysis
Who should be screened for HBV?
Experimental And Investigational Or Not Medically Necessary
Footnote1*Note: Aetna generally does not cover immunizations required for travel or because of work-related risk. Check contract language, limitations and exclusions for coverage details.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Viral Hepatitis C
Immunization With Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin
Machaira et al stated that the cost-effectiveness of augmenting immunization against hepatitis B infection with hepatitis B immune globulin remains controversial, particularly for the subpopulation of babies of HBsAg+/HBeAg- mothers that are considered as low-infective. These researchers evaluated the effectiveness of vaccine alone compared with vaccine plus HBIG for the immunization of babies of HBsAg+/HBeAg- mothers. They searched PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases to identify studies comparing the effectiveness of combined immunization with vaccine alone in neonates of HBsAg+/HBeAg- mothers. A systematic review and meta-analysis of eligible studies was performed. A total of 9 eligible studies were identified . No difference was found regarding the primary outcome of this meta-analysis, namely occurrence of hepatitis B infection, between neonates who received vaccine only, compared with those who received both vaccine and HBIG . This finding was consistent with regards to sero-protection rate . Safety data were not reported in the included studies. The authors concluded that available limited published evidence suggested that vaccine alone seems to be equally effective to the combination of HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine for neonates of HBsAg+/HBeAg- mothers in preventing infection. They stated that further studies are needed in order to clarify the potential benefit of combined immunization to this specific subgroup of patients.
What To Do If You Miss A Scheduled Dose
The recommended schedule for the HBV vaccine follows a three-dose pattern, with all doses complete within 6 months. The good news is that if you miss a dose, you dont need to start the series of shots all over.
If you missed getting the second dose 1 month after the first, make an appointment as soon as possible. If you miss the third dose, you should also try to get it as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the second and third doses
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Non Reactive Test Result
The Hepatitis B Vaccine And Immunosuppressants
If you are taking or about to start taking a medication that suppresses your immune response, let your healthcare provider know. Immunosuppressants may make certain vaccines less effective. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you get the hepatitis B vaccine at a particular time during your course of medication.
Concurrent Administration Of Vaccines
HB-containing vaccines may be administered concomitantly with other vaccines or with HBIg. Different injection sites and separate needles and syringes must be used for concurrent parenteral injections.
Refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1 for additional information about concurrent administration of vaccines.
You May Like: Hepatitis B E Antibody Positive
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
It is important that infants who are born to females with hepatitis B receive accurate doses of the hepatitis B vaccine. They may also be required to receive hepatitis B immunoglobulin if it is available.
The WHO also recommends using antiviral prophylaxis to help prevent hepatitis B transmission.
The table below outlines the two recommended hepatitis B vaccine schedules for infants born to those who have hepatitis B:
Babies And Hepatitis B Vaccination
Pregnant women have a routine blood test for hepatitis B as part of their antenatal care.
Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B need to be given a dose of the hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of their birth, followed by further doses at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, plus a final dose when they’re 1 year old.
Babies of mothers identified by the blood test as particularly infectious might also be given an injection of HBIG at birth on top of the hepatitis B vaccination to give them rapid protection against infection.
All babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B should be tested at 1 year of age to check if they have become infected with the virus.
Also Check: How Did I Get Hepatitis C
What Are The Uses For Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine is used to prevent hepatitis B, a serious infection that affects the liver.
Most children are given their first shot at birth, followed by a 2nd shot at 1-2 months of age, and a 3rd shot at 6-18 months of age. Also, anyone who is 18 years of age or younger and hasnât received the vaccine should be vaccinated.
Additionally, all unvaccinated adults at risk for hepatitis B infection should be vaccinated. This includes:
- Partners or people infected with hepatitis B
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject street drugs
- People with more than one sex partner
- People with chronic liver or kidney disease
- People under the age of 60 who have type 1 or 2 diabetes
- People with jobs that expose them to human blood or other body fluids
- People who live with a family member infected with hepatitis B
Interchangeability And Dosing Schedule
- 2-dose HepB vaccine series only applies when both doses consist of HepB-CpG, administered at least 4 weeks apart.
- Series consisting of a combination of 1 dose of HepB-CpG and a vaccine from a different manufacturer should do the following:
- Adhere to the 3-dose schedule minimum intervals of 4 weeks between dose 1 and 2, 8 weeks between dose 2 and 3, and 16 weeks between dose 1 and 3. However, if HepB-CpG is substituted for dose 2 of HepB-alum, a provider has the option of administering the next dose of HepB-CpG a minimum of 4 weeks from the previous dose for a complete series.
Recommended Reading: Medications Used To Treat Hepatitis C
Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices Recommendations
In February 2018, ACIP approved recommendations for Heplisav-B vaccine as an option for previously unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated persons, including:
- Adults 18 years of age and older who have a specific risk, or lack a risk factor but want protection. See ACIP Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults for risk factors.
Immunogenicity In Hemodialysis Patients:
Hemodialysis patients given hepatitis B vaccines respond with lower titers,12 which remain at protective levels for shorter durations than in normal subjects. In a study in which patients on chronic hemodialysis received 40 mcg of the plasma-derived vaccine at months 0, 1, and 6, approximately 50% of patients achieved antibody titers 10 mIU/mL.12 Since a fourth dose of ENGERIX-B given to healthy adults at month 12 following the 0-, 1-, and 2-month schedule resulted in a substantial increase in the GMT , a 4-dose regimen was studied in hemodialysis patients. In a clinical trial of adults who had been on hemodialysis for a mean of 56 months , 67% of patients were seroprotected 2 months after the last dose of 40 mcg of ENGERIX-B given on a 0-, 1-, 2-, and 6-month schedule the GMT among seroconverters was 93 mIU/mL.
Recommended Reading: How Does One Contract Hepatitis
Recommended Reading: Will Hepatitis C Kill You