Hepatitis Home > Recombivax HB

Recombivax HB is a hepatitis B vaccine. It is typically given as a series of two or three injections, depending on how old you are and other factors. The vaccine works by "tricking" the body into thinking it has been exposed to hepatitis B. Although most people tolerate this product well, side effects can include fatigue, irritability, and injection site reactions, among others.

What Is Recombivax HB?

Recombivax HB® (hepatitis B vaccine) is a vaccine used to provide protection against hepatitis B. It is approved for use in people of all ages.
(Click Recombivax HB Uses for more information on what the vaccine is used for, including possible off-label indications.)

Thimerosal Content and Other Concerns

Recombivax HB does not contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. People who are concerned about exposure to this substance can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal -- not even trace amounts. Some people also are concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. This vaccine contains 0.5 mg of aluminum per mL.
Recombivax HB is not made from human fetal components or animal components, unlike some vaccines.

Who Makes Recombivax HB?

Recombivax HB is made by Merck & Co., Inc.

How Does Recombivax HB Work?

This vaccine contains hepatitis B surface antigens, which are proteins on the outer surface of the virus that can be recognized by the immune system. Unlike older versions of the hepatitis vaccine, currently available vaccines -- including Recombivax HB -- are not made using human blood products. Instead, they are made using recombinant DNA technology.
This vaccine is not "live"; this means there is absolutely no chance of a person getting hepatitis B from this product.
Simply stated, this vaccine "tricks" the body into thinking it has been exposed to the hepatitis B virus. The body produces antibodies in response that will help fight infection if future exposure occurs.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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