What is hepatitis B vaccine?
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against the virus that causes hepatitis B infection.
Vaccines can provide protection against a single disease, or can be made to provide protection against more than one disease. Vaccines that provide protection against more than one disease are called combined vaccines.
The hepatitis B vaccine is available in both combined and single vaccine formats. The vaccine you receive will depend on your age, your vaccine requirements and the specific vaccine products that are currently available.
Vaccines commonly used:
Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine?
In general, everyone should get this vaccine. It is given to adolescents in grade 7. It is also given to people who have personal risk factors that place them at higher risk of developing a hepatitis B infection.
To find out more about when adolescents need the hepatitis B vaccine, refer to the Ontario Immunization Schedule.
Who should not get the hepatitis B vaccine?
- People who have had a serious allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine or to a previous dose of the vaccine itself should not receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
Your health care provider will ask you questions about your health before giving you any vaccine. This will help them identify allergies you might have and to safely manage potential allergic reactions.
What are the possible side effects of the hepatitis B vaccine?
You could have mild side effects after being vaccinated, but they usually go away in one to two days. Some people can be allergic to the vaccine, just like they might have a food or medication allergy.
Learn more about common vaccine side effects and what to do about them.
Is the hepatitis B vaccine required to attend school, daycare or to work in certain settings?
No. Children don’t have to be immunized against this disease to attend school or a licensed day care in Ontario (Immunization of School Pupils Act, Child Care and Early Years Act). However, this vaccine may be required in certain workplaces.
Access and update your immunization records.
What else should you know about the hepatitis B vaccine?
This vaccine is publicly funded for certain individuals and available at cost for others. Anyone who meets the publicly funded criteria may get the vaccine for free, no matter where they get it in Ontario (in a hospital, walk-in clinic, health care provider’s office or public health unit).
For a list of publicly funded vaccines in Ontario, see the Ontario Immunization Schedule.
Risks and benefits
Talk to your health care provider of getting vaccinated if you have special health conditions or concerns. Learn more about special considerations before being vaccinated.
Where can you get the hepatitis B vaccine?
For more information:
- Contact us.
- See our frequently asked questions or send us your question.
- See our list of helpful websites for information about vaccination.