New guidelines for hepatitis B vaccine
7/28/2022 by Robert M. Jacobson, M.D.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. It can cause lifelong infection and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver. Hepatitis B also can lead to liver cancer or liver failure — either of which can lead to death.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to get vaccinated.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently updated its guidelines to include recommendations that adults 19–59 years of age be vaccinated for hepatitis B. Mayo Clinic has adopted this recommendation.
This guidance includes:
- Routine hepatitis B vaccination for all infants, starting with a birth dose.
- Routine hepatitis B vaccination catch-up of all children and adults through age 59 years.
- Vaccination for those 60 years and older with risk factors for hepatitis B.
- Vaccination for those 60 years and older who want the protection.
Those who have completed a hepatitis B vaccination do not need boosters. Also, those who have had hepatitis B infection do not need to be vaccinated.
Contact you health care team if you have questions.
Robert M. Jacobson, M.D., is medical director of the Primary Care Immunization Program in Southeast Minnesota. He is a physician in Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.