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Can the hepatitis B vaccine cause other medical conditions?

The Institute of Medicine's Immunization Safety Review Committee has examined the evidence regarding the hypothesis that the hepatitis B vaccine causes demyelinating disorders. Evidence of possible biological mechanisms that could produce this effect was weak. Additionally, the committee found that the epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the hepatitis B vaccine in adults and multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between the hepatitis B vaccine and all other demyelinating conditions. So, there may be a relationship between hepatitis B vaccines and demyelinating disease, but no relationship between the vaccine and MS.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

You cannot get the hepatitis B virus from having the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine is normally given in a series of three to four shots or injections. This series of shots should protect you over the long-term from the hepatitis B virus, maybe even your entire life. All children should have the hepatitis B vaccine and should finish the series of shots by about 18 months of age. If you have any questions about the hepatitis B vaccine, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.

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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.