Hepatitis B


  • Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by a virus.
  • You can get infected with hepatitis B if you have contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids. This can happen during sex, or just by sharing personal items like a toothbrush or razor. Babies can get infected from their mother during birth.
  • If you get infected, you can be sick for weeks or months, be hospitalized, and even die. Some people don’t feel sick but can still spread the virus to others. For some people, the virus remains in their body for years. During this time, the virus can attack the liver and cause serious problems like liver failure or cancer.
  • You are more likely to become infected with the virus if you have diabetes, are exposed to blood on your job, have sex with an infected person, travel to certain countries, or use recreational drugs. However, many people are not sure how they got infected.
  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule

Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule

All children and teens in the U.S. should get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Infants should receive the first dose within 24 hours of birth. All adults through age 60 who have not previously been fully vaccinated should be vaccinated with 2 or 3 doses (depending upon brand). Adults age 60 and older who want to be protected from infection or who are at risk of hepatitis B should also be vaccinated.


Should You Be Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B?

A checklist of reasons for getting the hepatitis B vaccine, from Immunize.org.

Hepatitis A, B, and C: Learn the Differences

Information on symptoms, risk factors, prevention, treatment, and more, from Immunize.org.

Hepatitis B: Questions and Answers

Hepatitis B disease and vaccine information, from Immunize.org.

Partner Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Viral Hepatitis: Hepatitis B

Fact sheets, resources, multimedia, and more for parents and children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Vaccines for Your Children: Vaccine (Shot) for Hepatitis B

Three doses of the hepatitis B shot are recommended for children by doctors as the best way to protect against hepatitis B. Learn more about meningococcal and vaccines from CDC. A Spanish-language version is also available.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Immunization: Hepatitis B

Find easy-to-understand vaccine information for yourself or your loved ones, from the Department of Health & Human Services.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
A Look at Each Vaccine: Hepatitis B

Questions and answers about hepatitis B and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


Physician Underscores the Importance of Hepatitis B Vaccine

My name is Keith Van Zandt, and I appreciate the opportunity to address this committee regarding hepatitis B vaccines.

Read more.

Hsu Family

In the space of three years, college junior Leslie D. Hsu lost her brother and mother to hepatitis B-related liver cancer.

Read more.

Adrian Elkins

Adrian’s sister writes about her brother’s death and his siblings’ determination to educate the public about hepatitis B.

Read more.
View All Testimonies

Warning: Some of the images are graphic.

View All Hepatitis B Photos

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