Hepatitis B (HBV)

About the hepatitis B vaccine

  • In the Yukon, hepatitis B is a routine part of the infant immunization schedule.
  • It’s given in a combination vaccination DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib, which protects infants and children from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type B, all in 1 shot.   
  • Hepatitis B vaccine can also be given on its own to children and adults who were not vaccinated as infants.

  • The Diphtheria - Tetanus- Acellular Pertussis - Hepatitis B- Polio- Haemophilus Influenza Type b (DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib) vaccine is given as a series of 3 doses to infants at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months of age. 
  • It’s provided free to infants as part of their routine immunizations.
  • The vaccine is also recommended for and provided free to children and adults at high risk of hepatitis B infection, including:
    • children 19 years of age or younger;
    • all Community Nursing staff;
    • all Yukon Communicable Disease Control staff;
    • household contacts of acute Hepatitis B cases or Hepatitis B chronic carriers;
    • sexual contacts of acute Hepatitis B cases or Hepatitis B chronic carriers;
    • people using injectable drugs and their sexual partners;
    • people sharing drugs through snorting, smoking or injecting equipment;
    • males who have sex with other males;
    • people who are HIV positive;
    • people with multiple sexual partners or recent history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI);
    • people with a medical history of hepatitis C infection who do not have past or current evidence of hepatitis B infection;
    • people with chronic liver disease, hepatitis C, or a liver transplant;
    • people with chronic kidney disease including predialysis, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis patients;
    • people who have received a kidney or stem cell transplant;
    • people who have hemophilia or receive repeated infusions of blood or blood products;
    • previously unimmunized residents and staff of developmentally challenged known hepatitis B carriers whose behavior or medical condition increases risk to others
    • previously unimmunized children and staff in childcare settings in which there is a child infected with hepatitis B (upon order of Chief Medical Officer of Health);
  • The vaccine is recommended for, but not provided free to:
  • all healthcare workers;
  • all employees who have been directed to receive this by their employer ; and
  • people visiting countries with high hepatitis B rates and/or having sexual contact with residents in those areas, regardless of length of stay.
  • Hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver.
  • Many people who get hepatitis B show no symptoms and may not know they have the virus.
  • The hepatitis B virus can cause a short-term or long-term infection that can lead to life-threatening health problems including permanent liver damage or liver cancer.
  • The virus is spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. This could include a cut, needle stick, or tattoo, sharing toothbrushes or having unprotected sex.
  • It’s not spread by sneezing, coughing, hugging or sharing dishes.
  • The virus can also be spread during childbirth. If the mother is infected with the hepatitis B virus it can be passed to their infant during delivery.
  • Symptoms can take 2 to 6 months and include fever, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow skin/eyes), vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer.
  • This vaccine is safe and very effective.
  • Vaccination is the best way to protect against hepatitis B and its complications.
  • The hepatitis B vaccine is combined with other vaccines to protect you or your child against other infections with fewer shots.
  • When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect the spread to others too.
  • This vaccination is free in the Yukon to the groups listed above.

Find out how to get immunized