What should I know about the hepatitis B vaccine before receiving it?

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Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Hepatitis A vaccine
Before getting the hepatitis A vaccine, you should know some important information about getting this vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine should be given in two doses, usually spaced out over a period of six to 18 months. Your doctor will tell you when you should come back for your second dose, which is needed for it to be effective. Because of this, it's very important not to miss that second appointment. The only instance in which you should not get a second injection is if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first shot. You still can get the vaccine even if you have a cold or fever. However, if you have a serious infection, it's best to wait until you feel better before getting injected with hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis B vaccine
Before receiving hepatitis B vaccine, you should know some important information about this vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine should be given in a series of three or four doses over a period of months. Your doctor will tell you when you should come back for the additional doses. It is very important not to miss the appointments. The only instance in which you should not get a second injection is if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first shot. You can still get the hepatitis B vaccine even if you have a cold or fever. However, if you have a serious infection, it's best to wait until you feel better before receiving the vaccine.

Hepatitis A and B combination vaccine
Before receiving the hepatitis A and B combination vaccine, you should know that it will be given in several doses over a period of several months. Your doctor will tell you when you should come back for your "booster" doses of the hepatitis A and B combination vaccine, and your doctor will also decide how many additional doses are necessary. This vaccine may not be effective if you don't get all the recommended injections, so it's very important not to miss any appointments. The only instance in which you should not get booster injections is if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first injection. It's also important to remember that the hepatitis A and B combination vaccine does not protect against other types of hepatitis (C and E), and it won't protect you if you're already infected with hepatitis A or B.

Continue Learning about Hepatitis B Vaccine

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.