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Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B vaccine protects against a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
  • Routinely given to grade 7 students as part of the school immunization program.
  • This vaccine is also available publicly funded (free) for those in the following high risk groups:

• Children <7 years old whose families have emigrated from countries of high prevalence for HBV and who may be exposed to HBV carriers through their extended families.
• Household and sexual contacts of chronic carriers and acute cases.
• History of a sexually transmitted disease.
• Infants born to HBV-positive carrier mothers.
• Intravenous drug use. Liver disease (chronic), including hepatitis B and C.
• Awaiting liver transplants.
• Men who have sex with men.
• Multiple sex partners.
• Needle stick injuries in a non-health care setting.
• On renal dialysis or those with diseases requiring frequent receipt of blood products.

  • This vaccine may be recommended for others based on risk factors and previous immunization history, however they would have to purchase this vaccine. 

• 95%-100% effective when a full series is complete.
• 99% effective in children who were fully vaccinated between ages of 5-15 years.
• 95 % effective in children immunized under the age of 2.
• In general how well adults respond to the vaccine decreases with age.
• People who have weakened immune systems may not develop as high of an immune response to the vaccine as others.

There are currently no other treatments to prevent this disease.

You can do the following things to decrease your risk of contracting HB:

• Don’t share needles.
• Always wear a condom when having sex.
• If you are pregnant, have a blood test for HB so you can protect your baby as soon as they are born.
• If you know someone has HB, be careful not to touch their blood.
• Hand washing and covering the mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing can help reduce the spread of disease. 

• The risk of a serious reaction or side effect from this vaccine is much less than the risk of Hepatitis B.
• If you experience any side effect worse than what is listed below, please seek medical advice and notify the health unit.


• Pain/swelling in the muscle
• Redness

Less Common

• Fatigue
• Headache
• Irritability


• Anaphylaxis

• Anyone with an allergy to any of the vaccine components or who has had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to this vaccine.
• Anyone who has had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to this vaccine.




Also found in…



Breast milk, Antacids




Sodium chloride

Sodium chloride

Table salt



Cosmetics, toothpaste

Polysorbate 20


Ice cream

Disodium phosphate dihydrate


Pudding, Jell-O

Sodium dihydrogen Phosphate dihydrade


Food additives


Sodium borate




Mushrooms, Pears, Apples




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