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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that it recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all adults ages 19-59.[1]* While there is no cure for hepatitis B, vaccination can prevent the disease. Fortunately, with two trips to your local pharmacy, you can get protected against the hepatitis B virus in as little as one month.

Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know

Hepatitis B is an incurable liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus.[2]  When the virus attacks the liver, the resulting health complications can be lifelong and even deadly.[2] While there is no cure for hepatitis B, it can be prevented.[2]

Vaccination is the Key to Prevention

Beginning in 1991, the CDC recommended that hepatitis B vaccination became standard of care for infants, making it the first shot most babies receive before leaving the hospital. That said, many adults born before the 1991 hepatitis B vaccine recommendation are living unprotected against the hepatitis B virus.[3]

Two-Dose Hepatitis B Vaccine Option

There are different options for hepatitis B vaccinations, but only one protects adults (18 and over) with just two doses in one month—HEPLISAV-B [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant), Adjuvanted]. All other hepatitis B vaccines require three doses over six months. With HEPLISAV-B, you can get faster protection than the three-doses in six months vaccines.[4],[5] And, boosters aren’t usually needed for hepatitis B vaccines.

Please see Important Safety Information below

“When infants begain getting vaccinated against hepatitis B in 1991, we saw a dramatic reduction of infection rates so it has been frustrating to watch rates of infection in adults rise when we know that there is a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent hepatitis B,” says Dr. Arun Jesudian, Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medicine. “These greatly expanded and simplified recommendations from the CDC will help protect millions of adults against this potentially deadly virus.”

It’s time to talk to your pharmacist about Hepatitis B

If you were born before 1991 you have likely not received a hepatitis B vaccine and it’s time to get caught up. Talk to your pharmacist about getting protected with the two-dose, one month hepatitis B vaccine, HEPLISAV-B. For more information and to find a nearby pharmacist who can help protect you against hepatitis B, visit heplisavb.com.

INDICATION

HEPLISAV-B is indicated for the prevention of infection caused by the hepatitis B virus in adults 18 years of age and older.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 

If you have a history of severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of any hepatitis B vaccine, or to any ingredient of HEPLISAV-B, including yeast, do not take HEPLISAV-B.

HEPLISAV-B must be given by a medical professional, who will monitor you afterwards to check for allergic reaction.

If you are immunocompromised, or receiving immunosuppressant therapy, you may have less of an immune response to HEPLISAV-B.

Some people have hepatitis B infection without being aware of it or showing any symptoms. If you already have hepatitis B present in your body, HEPLISAV-B may not prevent hepatitis B infection.

The most common side effects reported by patients within 7 days of vaccination with HEPLISAV-B were pain at the site of injection (23%-39%), tiredness (11%-17%), and headache (8%-17%).

For full Prescribing Information for HEPLISAV-B, click here.

* The CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all adults ages 19-59 years old, as well as adults older than 60 with risk factors for hepatitis B. Anyone 60 years or older who does not meet risk-based recommendations may still receive hepatitis B vaccination.


[1] Murthy N, Wodi AP, Bernstein H, McNally V, Cineas S, Ault K. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older — United States, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:229–233. DOI: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7107a1.htm?s_cid=mm7107a1_w

[2] Hepatitis B | NIDDK (nih.gov)

[3] CDC. Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/coverage/adultvaxview/pubs-resources/NHIS-2016.html#hepB.

[4] HEPLISAV-B [package insert]. Emeryville, CA: Dynavax Technologies Corporation; 2020.

[5] Dynavax Technologies Corporation. FDA Advisory Committee Briefing Document: HEPLISAV-B™ (Hepatitis B Vaccine [Recombinant], Adjuvanted). Presented at: Meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; July 28, 2017; Silver Spring, MD.