Hepatitis B

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    What is Hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B is a virus that can cause infection at any age. Infection with this virus can lead to serious liver disease, and sometimes chronic infection of the liver.  


    How can my child get infected with Hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B is transmitted in several ways. It can be passed from mother to her baby at the time of birth. Children living in the same home as a Hepatitis B carrier can catch it, especially during the first 5 years of life. Hepatitis B is also spread through sexual contact. Hepatitis B can be spread by contact with infected blood. This can happen when drug users share needles.


    Why should my child get the Hepatitis B vaccine?

    Infection with Hepatitis B early in life is more likely to cause chronic liver problems. More than 95% of children who receive all the recommended doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are protected from this infection. 


    When should my child get the Hepatitis B vaccine?

    Hepatitis B immunization is a 3 dose series of shots.

    If Mom is Hepatitis B negative:

    • Dose #1 at Birth
    • #2 at 1 month
    • #3 at 6-18 months

    If mom is Hepatitis B positive:

    • Dose #1 at Birth
    • #2 at 1 month
    • #3 at 6 months

    Adolescents and children living with infected household members should receive the 3 dose series. 

    What are the side effects of this vaccine?

    Most children have no side effects from the Hepatitis B vaccine. There have been no serious reactions. The side effects that have been seen are usually mild. Your child may have some soreness or redness where the hot was given. Your child may become a little fussy for a few hours. These symptoms usually go away in less than a day. Call your Doctor if you are concerned about your child after he/she was given a vaccine. Call your Doctor if your child is 2 months or age or younger, and he/she gets a fever of 100.4 F or more. 


    For additional information, please call (631) 444-4000.