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​HB (Hepatitis B Vaccine)

Recombivax HB®, Engerix®-B

This vaccine protects against Hepatitis B virus. This disease is easily prevented with immunization.

What is Hepatitis B?

  • A virus that affects your liver and can cause liver cancer
  • Spread through blood and certain body fluids of infected people (e.g. sharing toothbrushes or razors, tattooing and body piercing with contaminated tools, babies born to infected mothers)
  • Some people have no symptoms, but they can still give the disease to others
  • Causes people to become tired, feverish and lose their appetite
  • Sometimes people can get yellow skin and eyes (called jaundice)
  • People can die from the disease. There is no cure.

Who should get Hepatitis B vaccine?

  • All children before they become teenagers
  • Newborn babies of mothers with Hepatitis B
  • Health care workers
  • Workers whose jobs put them at increased risk of getting Hepatitis B (e.g. prison staff, police, embalmers)
  • People with health problems who need frequent blood transfusions,  blood products, or dialysis
  • People with chronic liver disease or waiting for a liver transplant
  • People who live with or have close contact to a  person with Hepatitis B
  • People who use drugs by needles
  • People with multiple sexual partners or who have had a sexually transmitted disease
  • People who travel to a place where there is a higher risk of getting Hepatitis B

Talk to your doctor/public health nurse if you:

  • Had a bad reaction to a vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine, had a serious reaction to yeast or latex, or have any other allergies.
  • Take medications or have any diseases that lower the immune system or increase bleeding
  • Feel very sick

What if a needle is missed?

Get the next needle as soon as possible

What if I decide not to be immunized?

Choosing not to be immunized or delaying immunization puts you/your child at risk of getting sick with Hepatitis B.   

Is Hepatitis B vaccine safe?

Yes!  You may have no reaction or mild symptoms that include:

  • Redness, swelling,  and pain where the needle went in
  • Low fever
  • Children may become fussy or sleepier than usual;

These normal reactions usually last between 12 and 24 hours.  Hepatitis B vaccine is safe during pregnancy and breast feeding

When should I call my doctor?

Serious reactions after vaccination are very rare.  Get immediate medical help if you/your child have any unusual symptoms such as:

  • trouble breathing, swelling in your face/mouth and/or blotchy skin (hives)
  • fever above 40°C (104°F);
  • crying or fussing for more than 24 hours;
  • worsening swelling, redness, and/or pain where the needle went in;
  • unusual sleepiness (difficult to wake)

You know best.  If you notice anything that is not normal after a vaccination, check with your healthcare provider.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.


  • Make sure to update your immunization record
  • Notify the Health Unit each time your child receives a vaccine by phone (519-753-4937 ext. 451) or online

Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada (Canadian Immunization Guide), Publicly Funded Schedules for Ontario

This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. Please note there is a cost for immunizations that are not included in Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. For more information contact us at 519-753-4937 ext. 451 or

Immunization Updates and Appointment Booking
519-753-4937 ext. 451