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Hepatitis and Children

There are safe, effective vaccines that can help protect children against hepatitis A, which can lead to complications including liver failure, arthralgia (joint pain), kidney, pancreatic, and blood disorders, and hepatitis B, which can lead to chronic liver infection, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots. Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age (although sometimes it will take longer to complete the series).

Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of hepatitis A vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age. The second dose should be given 6 months after the last dose. Hepatitis A vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against hepatitis A. Children and adolescents who did not receive the hepatitis A vaccine and are at high risk should be vaccinated against hepatitis A.