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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent

Generic Name: hepatitis B pediatric vaccine (Pronunciation: )

What is hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent)?

Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by virus.

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver that is spread through blood or bodily fluids, sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles with an infected person, or during childbirth when a baby is born to a mother who is infected. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.

The hepatitis B vaccine is used to help prevent this disease.

This vaccine works by exposing your child to a small amount of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Vaccination with hepatitis B pediatric vaccine is recommended for all children, especially children and adolescents who are at risk of getting hepatitis B. Risk factors include: being born to a mother who is a hepatitis carrier; being on dialysis or receiving blood transfusions; living in an institute for the mentally handicapped; traveling to high-risk areas; living with a person who has chronic hepatitis B infection; and being of Native Alaskan, Indochinese, Haitian, or Pacific Island descent.

Like any vaccine, the hepatitis B vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What are the possible side effects of this vaccine (Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent)?

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with hepatitis B is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if your child has any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats; or
  • easy bruising or bleeding.

Less serious side effects include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine (Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent)?

Hepatitis B vaccine will not protect against infection with hepatitis A, C, and E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It may also not protect against hepatitis B if your child is already infected with the virus, even if he or she does not yet show symptoms.

Vaccination with hepatitis B pediatric vaccine is recommended for all children, especially children and adolescents who are at risk of getting hepatitis B. Risk factors include: being born to a mother who is a hepatitis carrier; being on dialysis or receiving blood transfusions; living in an institute for the mentally handicapped; traveling to high-risk areas; living with a person who has chronic hepatitis B infection; and being of Native Alaskan, Indochinese, Haitian, or Pacific Island descent.

The hepatitis B pediatric vaccine is given in a series of shots. The booster shots are sometimes given 1 month and 6 months after the first shot. If your child has a high risk of hepatitis B infection, he or she may be given a booster 2 months after the first shot and then 12 to 24 months later.

Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine. Your child may not be fully protected against disease if he or she does not receive the full series.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with hepatitis B is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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