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General Recommendations

Standard Schedule - Alternate Schedule for Adolescents
Recommended Doses - Hepatitis Vaccine Watch

In the U.S., there are two recombinant hepatitis B vaccines that have been approved for use in infants, children and adults. Both are equally safe and effective.

These vaccines are synthetically prepared and do not contain blood products - it is impossible to get hepatitis B from this type of vaccine.

Standard Schedule of Administration

The hepatitis B vaccine is an intramuscular injection that is generally administered as a three-dose series on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule. The recommended doses depend on the vaccine brand and the person's age.

  • 0 month - first dose of vaccine given
  • 1 month - second dose given 1 month after the first dose
  • 6 month - third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose, and at least 4 months after the first dose

Alternatively, Engerix-B (GlaxoSmithKline) is approved to be administered on a four-dose schedule at 0, 1, 2, and 12 months.  

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Alternate Schedule for Adolescents

There is a two-dose schedule of Recombivax HB (Merck) that has been approved for children and adolescents 11 through 15 years of age. Using the two-dose schedule, the adult dose of Recombivax HB is administered to this age group. After the first dose is given, the second dose is given 4 to 6 months later. 

Recommended Doses of Approved HBV Vaccines

Print the handy CDC schedule of web linkRecommended Doses of Approved HBV Vaccines as a useful reference guide.

Visit the Hepatitis Vaccine Watch

The Hepatitis B Foundation maintains a Hepatitis Vaccine Watch to track information about new vaccines for hepatitis A and B and those that are in development worldwide.


Page last modified October 21, 2009

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