Skip to main content

Hepatitis and Children

Two babies laughingViral Hepatitis

There are safe, effective vaccines that can help protect children against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Every child should be vaccinated against both these infections.

Hepatitis A can lead to complications including liver failure, joint pain, kidney, pancreatic, and blood disorders. 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.

Hepatitis B 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).

FACT: Infants born to hepatitis B-infected women have a very high chance of getting the infection from their mothers unless they receive their first hepatitis B vaccination and immune globulin (IG) at birth.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there are effective treatments available.

adolescentsHepatitis and Adolescents

Older children and adolescents who did not receive either the hepatitis A or hepatitis B vaccine should be vaccinated.



Updated May 9, 2020

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention