These are a few of the decisions you will probably be asked to make before leaving the hospital, birthing center, or at your child’s first pediatric visit (in the event of a home birth).  

Things to consider are: 

  • why you might want this?
  • what other options are available and reasonable?

Please note: We do our best to offer the most recent and accurate information possible, but encourage you to do your own independent research before making any decisions. The decisions are yours to make for your baby.


HEPATITIS B VACCINE

The CDC recommends that all infants receive the Hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital after birth, then receiving 2 more doses.

Why opt for the shot?

If you have hepatitis B, a serious liver infection, it's likely you want to do everything possible to avoid passing it on to your child, including a special hepatitis B immune globulin shot as well as the HepB vaccine.

Why might you opt out?

Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual and blood (needle sharing, etc), so unless you have hepatitis B, it is almost impossible for your child to contract it. . The HepB vaccine has side effects, and a newborn's system is delicate. It makes little sense to submit a developing nervous & immune system, that is not at risk of infection, to such an attack.

Your options

You can choose the vaccine to protect your child from contracting Hep B as he or she grows and is exposed to others with the disease. 

If your child is not at risk for Hepatitis B, you can delay the vaccine until later, or refuse it all together (it's not required for school entry in many states).