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Do I Need the Hepatitis A and B Vaccines?


How and When Do Doctors Give Vaccines?

For the hepatitis A vaccine:

You should get two doses, given as shots, 6 months apart for complete protection.

Children should get the first dose between 12 and 23 months of age. Children older than age 2 can get the first dose at their next doctor’s visit.

If you need the vaccine because of upcoming travel, get it at least 1 month before you go.

For the hepatitis B vaccine:

For long-lasting immunity you need three to four doses, depending on which type of vaccine is used. You get them as shots.

Children should get their first dose at birth and complete the series by age 6 months. Typically, the second dose would be given when the infant is 1 month old and the third dose when the child is 6 months old.

Babies born to women who have hepatitis B need to start vaccination sooner and also get other medicine and testing to make sure they're OK.

Catch-up vaccinations are recommended for children and adolescents who were never vaccinated or who did not get all three shots.

If you're an adult who wants to be vaccinated, you should discuss your options with your doctor. If you are considering both vaccines, ask your doctor about Twinrix, which combines hepatitis A and B vaccines.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on July 08, 2015
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