Hepatitis B Vaccination and Testing Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention

Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B vaccines are recommended for all infants, starting at birth. It’s especially important that infants who are born to people who test positive for hepatitis B infection start and finish their hepatitis B vaccines on-time. This is because people who are infected as infants have a much greater chance of having chronic infection and hepatitis B related liver disease. Children who did not get the vaccine when they were younger should get it now and some unvaccinated adults who are at higher risk for getting infected should also get vaccinated.

Hepatitis vaccines are required for California children entering child care and kindergarten and some adults may need to show proof of vaccination for work.

Hepatitis B vaccines are covered by most insurance plans at no cost to the patient. If you are uninsured or your insurance does not cover hepatitis B vaccinations, please call 2-1-1 to receive guidance and assistance.

Hepatitis B Testing
The only way to know if you’ve been infected with the hepatitis B virus is to have a simple blood test to detect hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).

All pregnant people should be tested routinely for HBsAg during an early prenatal visit (e.g., first trimester) in each pregnancy, even if they have been previously vaccinated or tested.

People who were not screened prenatally, those who engage in behaviors that put them at high risk for infection (e.g., injection-drug use, having had more than one sex partner in the previous 6 months or an BsAg-positive sex partner, evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease [STD], or recent or current injection-drug use) and those with clinical hepatitis should be tested at the time of admission to the hospital for delivery. Perinatal HBV transmission can be prevented by identifying HBV-infected (i.e., hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg]-positive) pregnant people and providing hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine to their infants within 12 hours of birth. If you don’t have insurance coverage, call 2-1-1 to be given information about how to find a healthcare provider.

For a printable flier about Hepatitis B testing, getting vaccinated, and how to stay healthy while living with hepatitis B, click here for the English version.

For fliers in additional languages, click on the name of the following languages
Español Spanish, 中国语 Chinese, Tiếng Việt Vietnamese, and 한국어 Korean

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Content last updated: January 24, 2024


Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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