Half of all people who get hepatitis B can't tell they have the disease.
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against hepatitis B infection and its complications such as permanent liver damage, which can lead to liver cancer and death.
Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get Hepatitis B.
The hepatitis B vaccine is provided free to infants as part of their routine immunizations. It is given in combination with other childhood vaccines so that they can be protected against several diseases with one shot.
The vaccine is also provided free to people born in 1980 or later who have never received the vaccine or have not received the recommended number of doses for their age.
The vaccine is also provided free to children and adults at high risk of hepatitis B infection, including:
Vaccines are available from public health units, doctors' offices and pharmacies (for people 5 years of age and older). Anyone who is not eligible for a free hepatitis B vaccine can purchase it at most pharmacies and travel clinics. Services vary across BC.
For more information about the hepatitis B vaccine, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Hepatitis B Vaccine.
Photo courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. More vaccine preventable disease images
If you're a health care provider looking for information on immunization, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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