Get protected, get immunized.
HBIG is made from blood and contains antibodies to hepatitis B. It gives fast protection, but the protection is not long lasting.
When you get HBIG, you also start a hepatitis B vaccine series so your body can make its own antibodies for long-lasting protection.
Hepatitis B is an infection in the liver that’s caused by a virus. Symptoms include poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting (throwing up), and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes). Some people don’t have any symptoms.
One out of 10 adults who are infected with hepatitis B have an infection that doesn’t go away (called a chronic infection).
Around the world each year, 500,000 to 1.2 million people die from hepatitis B-related disease.
Anyone can get hepatitis B. Almost 1 out of 3 people who have it don’t have any risk factors. You have the highest risk if:
Hepatitis B spreads by having contact with the blood and body fluids of a person who is infected. It can spread through:
HBIG may be offered when you’re unprotected against hepatitis B and you may have had contact with the hepatitis B virus. For example, HBIG may be offered after a needlestick injury or to a newborn baby if the parent who gave birth has a hepatitis B infection.
You need 1 dose of HBIG as soon as possible after contact with the virus. You’ll also need a dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
If you have contact with hepatitis B, HBIG and a dose of hepatitis B vaccine work very well to protect you. You need them within 7 days after contact with an infected person’s blood or within 14 days after sexual contact.
For babies exposed at childbirth, HBIG and a dose of hepatitis B vaccine, given within 24 hours of birth, are 85% to 95% effective in preventing hepatitis B.
HBIG is one of the safest blood products available. Canadian Blood Services carefully screens donors and tests all blood. Blood is not used if the donor has risk factors or tests positive for an infectious disease. HBIG is treated with heat and chemicals to kill germs. The risk of getting an infection from HBIG is very small.
Newborn babies who need HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine get them at the hospital.
If you think you have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus, call Health Link at 811. If you need HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine, you’ll get them at your local public health office or hospital.
It’s important to finish all doses of hepatitis B vaccine and do any follow-up blood tests that your healthcare provider recommends.
There can be side effects from HBIG, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
Hives and general swelling may occur.
It’s important to stay at the hospital or public health office for 15 minutes after you have HBIG. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
Talk to your healthcare provider before getting HBIG if you:
Check with your doctor or public health nurse before you get HBIG.
You can still get HBIG if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever.
For long-term protection, you need to be immunized with a vaccine that protects against hepatitis B.
HBIG can interfere with live vaccines. You need to wait at least 3 months after having HBIG before you can have a live vaccine. Before you get a live vaccine, tell your healthcare provider if you had HBIG in the past 3 months.
If you had a live vaccine less than 14 days before having HBIG, ask a public health nurse if you need the live vaccine again.
Many adults and children are afraid of needles. You can do many things before, during, and after immunization to be more comfortable. Visit
Commitment to Comfort for tips to make immunization a better experience.
Current as of: December 15, 2022
Author: Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.