hepatitis b vaccine injection (Engerix-B, Recombivax HB)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: hepatitis B vaccine

BRAND NAME: Recombivax HB, Engerix-B




Hepatitis B vaccine is used to prevent hepatitis B, a serious infection that affects the liver.

Most children are given their first shot at birth, followed by a 2nd shot at 1-2 months of age, and a 3rd shot at 6-18 months of age. Also, anyone who is 18 years of age or younger and hasn't received the vaccine should be vaccinated.

Additionally, all unvaccinated adults at risk for hepatitis B infection should be vaccinated. This includes:

  • Partners or people infected with hepatitis B
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject street drugs
  • People with more than one sex partner
  • People with chronic liver or kidney disease
  • People under the age of 60 who have type 1 or 2 diabetes
  • People with jobs that expose them to human blood or other body fluids
  • People who live with a family member infected with hepatitis B
  • Kidney dialysis patients
  • People who travel to countries where hepatitis B is common
  • People with HIV infection
  • People who live or work in institution for the developmentally disabled
  • Anyone else who wishes to be protected from the hepatitis B infection


  • Severe and life-threatening allergic reactions including
    • hives, swelling of the face or throat,
    • difficulty breathing,
    • rapid heartbeat,
    • dizziness, and
    • weakness may occur.
  • These symptoms can start within a few minutes to a few hours after vaccination.
  • The vial stopper, the syringe plunger stopper, and tip cap contain latex rubber which may cause allergic reactions in people with latex allergy.
  • Premature infants may experience difficulty breathing.


Common side effects of HBV vaccines include:

Other reported side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2016

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