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. The virus in the vaccine is killed (inactive).
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. Usually, the baby would get a second dose at 1 month old and the third dose at 6 months.
Babies born to women who have hepatitis B need a shot of hep B antibodies, as well as their first hep B vaccine shot, when they’re born. They will also need follow-up blood tests to make sure they’re OK.
Catch-up vaccinations are recommended for children and teens who were never vaccinated or who did not get all three shots.
If you're an adult who wants to be vaccinated, you should talk about it with your doctor or pharmacist. If you are considering both vaccines, ask your doctor about vaccines that combine hep A and B.