Give A Hep B Vaccine

Immunizations prevent the spread of many infectious diseases.

Hepatitis B is a highly infectious, potentially life-threatening virus affecting 400 million people worldwide. It is entirely preventable with a series of three vaccinations. In the United States the vaccinations are part of the standard course for infants, but they can also be given to healthy persons of all ages.

Before You Begin

Make sure to screen your patients for potential allergic reaction. Provide all patients with the most current federal Vaccination Immunization Sheet. Gather the necessary supplies: disposable gloves, alcohol prep pad, vaccine, needle and bandage.

About the Injection

The hepatitis B vaccine is designed to be given intramuscularly with a 22- to 25-gauge needle 1 to 1½ inches long. Patients below the age of 20 receive a 0.5 ml dosage, and patients aged 20 and older receive a 1.0 ml dosage. The second injection is given eight weeks after the first. The third injection can be given two to six months after the second.

Injection Site for Infants

The Immunization Action Coalition recommends injecting the vaccine into the outer thigh area of an infant or toddler. Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle.

Injection Site for Adults

For adults and children over the age of three, the deltoid area is used to administer the vaccine. Locate the area above the axilla (armpit) and below the acromion (shoulder). Insert the needle into the muscle tissue at a 90-degree angle.

Considerations

Monitor patients briefly for signs of allergic reaction. Document administration of the vaccine in each patient’s medical record.


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