Before getting a hepatitis B vaccine, individuals should know that it is not recommended for anyone with a history of life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast or any other ingredient in the vaccine, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moderately or severely ill people should not get the vaccine.
The hepatitis B vaccine typically does not cause side effects, but individuals may experience soreness at the injection site or an elevated temperature, according to the CDC. In extremely rare cases, the vaccine may cause severe allergic reaction or other serious problems, such as extremely high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a severe allergic reaction usually occur within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the vaccine and include symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, dizziness, or weakness. Emergency medical attention is advised if any serious reactions occur.
Since 1991, babies usually receive the hepatitis B vaccine as part of their routine childhood vaccinations, states the CDC. Unvaccinated adults at high risk for contracting the virus should also receive the hepatitis B vaccine. This includes individuals who inject street drugs, have chronic liver or kidney problems, have jobs that expose them to blood and body fluids, or have multiple sex partners.