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What is the immunization schedule for the hepatitis B vaccine?

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Quick Answer

The most-often used immunization schedule for the hepatitis B vaccine includes three shots, with the second and third shots occurring one month and six months after the initial vaccination, respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A two-shot dose has been approved for children ages 11 to 15.

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Full Answer

Vaccines are available at doctor's offices and health clinics, notes the Hepatitis B Foundation. The first injection can be given at any time in a person's life. The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend infants at birth and children up to 18 years of age become immunized. Health care professionals; sexually active teens and adults; families considering adoption; travelers to certain countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis B; and patients living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should also get vaccinated.

Vaccines cost between $75 and $165 for all three doses, but children can get free or reduced-cost shots from public health clinics, says the Hepatitis B Foundation. Insurance companies may cover the costs for infants and children. The immunization costs more for adults. Engerix-B, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, and Recombivax HB, made by Merck, are the two commercially available vaccines in the United States, as of February 2015. TwinRix, from Merck, vaccinates adults against hepatitis A and hepatitis B simultaneously.

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