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hepatitis B pediatric vaccine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving 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.

Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing hepatitis B, or if the child is allergic to baker's yeast. Your child also should not receive this vaccine if he or she has received cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the past 3 months.

If your child has any of these other conditions, the vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:

  • multiple sclerosis;
  • kidney disease (or if the child is on dialysis);
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
  • a history of seizures;
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine);
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
  • if your child is taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).

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.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this vaccine will harm an unborn baby. Tell the doctor if your child is pregnant or becomes pregnant while receiving the series of hepatitis B vaccines.

It is not known whether hepatitis B vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby.

How is this vaccine given (Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent)?

The vaccine is injected into a muscle. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

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.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to give your child.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

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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