Hepatitis B - Vaccination of Adults

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted via blood or sexual contact. People with chronic HBV infection are at increased risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer and require medical care. ACIP recommends vaccination of adults at risk for HBV infection, including universal vaccination of adults in settings in which a high proportion have risk factors for HBV infection and vaccination of adults requesting protection from HBV without acknowledgment of a specific risk factor.

Implementation Guidelines

To ensure vaccination of persons at risk for HBV infection, health care providers should:

  • Provide information to all adults regarding the benefits of hepatitis B vaccination
  • Assess the need for vaccination by obtaining a history that emphasizes risks for sexual or bloodborne transmission of HBV
  • Vaccinate all adults who report risk factors for HBV infection
  • Vaccinate anyone seeking protection from hepatitis B; identification of a specific risk factor is not required
    Identify, counsel, and vaccinate susceptible household, sex, and needle-sharing contacts of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive persons
  • Assess patients’ needs for other recommended vaccines
  • Vaccinate all adults receiving services in the following settings:
    • STD clinics
    • HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and treatment facilities
    • Health care settings targeting services to men who have sex with men
    • Drug abuse prevention and treatment facilities
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