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Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine

Learn about the hepatitis B vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Disease it protects from

Who should get this vaccine

Grade 6 students can get the hepatitis B vaccine as part of the school immunization program. If you were born in 1981 or later and did not get all the recommended doses in school, you can get the hepatitis B vaccine for free.

You should also get this vaccine if you are at risk for hepatitis B because of:

  • certain health problems (such as liver or kidney problems)
  • the type of work you do (such as some healthcare workers)
  • your lifestyle (such as having unprotected sex or sharing needles)
  • possible contact with the virus (such as after having contact with someone else’s blood)

Talk to a public health nurse to find out if you can get the hepatitis B vaccine for free.

You may also benefit from the vaccine if you travel to an area that has a high risk of hepatitis B. If you get the vaccine because of travel, it is not free. Learn more about vaccines for travel.

Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers the cost.

Who should not get this vaccine

You may not be able to get this vaccine if:

  • You have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • You had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.

If you have allergies or have had a side effect from this vaccine in the past, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.

Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others.


Students in Grade 6 need 2 doses, 6 months apart.

Most other people need 3 doses over 6 months.

If you have certain health problems, such as kidney problems, or you have had an organ or stem cell transplant, you may need more doses. Ask your healthcare provider how many doses you need.

Other vaccines that protect against the same diseases

There are 2 other vaccines that protect against hepatitis B.

  • Twinrix protects against hepatitis A and B. People who travel often get this vaccine.
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B. As part of the routine immunization schedule, babies get this vaccine starting at age 2 months.

Get the vaccine

Grade 6 students can get the vaccine in school. Grade 9 students who missed getting the vaccine at the usual time can also get it in school. Parents and guardians will get an information package that includes a consent form. If you want your child to get the vaccine in school, you must complete and sign the consent form and return it according to the instructions provided. Learn more about school immunization.

If you need the vaccine because of your work or what you study (such as some healthcare workers), talk to your workplace health and safety department or your student health services department.

If you can get this vaccine for free, contact your local public health or community health centre.

If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a travel health clinic or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Current as of: July 1, 2024
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.