Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
Hepatitis B virus is easily spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. People can also be infected from contact with a contaminated object, where the virus can live for up to 7 days.
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, and the serious consequences of hepatitis B infection, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. The vaccine may be given by itself or in the same shot with other vaccines. The hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as a series of 3 or 4 shots over a 6-month period. Vaccinations gives long-term protection from hepatitis B infection, possibly lifelong.
Center for Disease Control Prevention