Hepatitis B vaccine: Answers to your most-asked questions

Severe problems

  • serious allergic reaction (very rare).

6. What if there is a moderate or severe reaction?

What should I look for?

Any unusual condition, such as a serious allergic reaction, high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness. If such a reaction were to occur, it would be within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.

What should I do?

  • Call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form, or call VAERS yourself at 1-800-822-7967.

7. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

In the rare event that you or your child has a serious reaction to a vaccine, a federal program has been created to help you pay for the care of those who have been harmed.

For details about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, call 1-800-338-2382 or visit the program's website.

8. How can I learn more?

  • Ask your doctor or nurse. They can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
  • Call your local or state health department's immunization program.
  • Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • Call 1-800-232-2522 or 1-888-443-7232 (English)
  • Call 1-800-232-0233 (Español)
  • Visit the National Immunization Program or the CDC's Hepatitis Branch

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Immunization Program
Vaccine Information Statement (Interim)
Hepatitis B (8/9/00) 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26

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