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hepatitis B pediatric vaccine

Pronunciation: HEP a TYE tis B pee dee AT rik VAX een

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

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine?

Hepatitis B pediatric vaccine should not be given to a child who is allergic to yeast.

This vaccine will not protect against hepatitis B if your child is already infected with the virus, even if he or she does not yet show symptoms.

What is hepatitis B vaccine?

Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus. Hepatitis B causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.

Hepatitis B is spread through blood or bodily fluids, sexual contact, and by sharing items such as a razor, toothbrush, or IV drug needle with an infected person. Hepatitis B can also be passed to a baby during childbirth when the mother is infected.

The hepatitis B pediatric vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in children and teenagers.

The vaccine helps your child's body develop immunity to hepatitis B, but will not treat an active infection the child already has.

Vaccination with hepatitis B pediatric vaccine is recommended for all children beginning at birth, especially children and adolescents who are at risk of getting hepatitis B. Risk factors include: living with someone infected with hepatitis B virus; being born to a mother who is infected with hepatitis B; being on dialysis; living in a facility for developmentally disabled people; traveling to areas where hepatitis B is common; being an adolescent who has never received a hepatitis B vaccine during childhood.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

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. Hepatitis B pediatric vaccine should not be given to a child who is allergic to yeast.

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

  • kidney disease (or if the child is on dialysis);
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
  • an allergy to latex rubber; or
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine).

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. If the child has a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, your doctor may recommend waiting until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

It is not known whether this vaccine will harm an unborn baby. However, if you are at a high risk for infection with hepatitis B during pregnancy, your doctor should determine whether you need this vaccine.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is this vaccine given?

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 beginning shortly after birth. The booster shots are sometimes given 1 to 2 months and 6 to 18 months after the first shot. If your child does not receive a birth dose, the vaccine series should begin as early as possible.

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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a booster dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

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

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of this vaccine?

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

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

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation for a short time after the injection.

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.

Call your doctor at once if your child has:

  • breathing that stops during sleep;
  • fever, chills, swollen glands.
  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;
  • unusual muscle weakness;
  • changes in behavior; or
  • severe skin reaction --fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects include:

  • diarrhea, loss of appetite;
  • feeling weak or tired;
  • mild fussiness or crying;
  • low fever; or
  • runny nose.

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 other drugs will affect hepatitis B vaccine?

Before your child receives this vaccine, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.

Other drugs may interact with hepatitis B vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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