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Children's Health

4th Hepatitis B Shot Given by Accident



We went to our Pediatrician`s office yesterday for our daughter`s one year check up, 4/28/10, and were expecting her to receive her Chicken Pox and her Pneumococcal vaccination. However, to our dismay, instead of the chicken pox vaccination, she received a fourth dose of Hepatitis B. I`m very concerned because it`s bad enough these tiny babies are receiving so many shots at such a young age. she received her normal 3 doses at the correct times, birth, 2 months, and 9 months. I`m perturbed that doctor`s do not practice proper protocol when administering such shots to such a young, developing baby. She`s our pride and joy and I`m sure others would feel the same. Could you please give me some advice. I`m trying to just receive as many opinion`s as possible to reassure that our little girl will be OK NOW AND "long-term." There are too many studies out there contributing immunizations and autism and it scares me to death. I`m not taking this lightly because it should NEVER happen. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for your question about the Hepatitis B series and the number of shots that are needed. The original series is set for three shots to ensure that a very high percentage of people will be fully immune when they are done with the three shots. Health care workers are at very high risk of coming into contact with Hepatitis B, and they are all checked to see if they are immune to Hepatitis B with a blood test. This blood test is not needed for the general population. The health care workers who are not immune to hepatitis B would actually receive another set of three shots, for a total of six shots. The extra shots do help some of those people to be immune to Hepatitis B, but not all. The shots do not cause any harm to the people who receive them.

The majority of immunizations in fact will not hurt a person if an extra dose is received. In some cases they will have a larger reaction such as a warm arm or low grade temperature. Extra doses are of course wasteful if not needed.

Please keep an accurate shot record for yourself and all persons in your family so only necessary vaccines are given, and you can participate in your health care with your providers.

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Response by:

Allison A Macerollo, MD Allison A Macerollo, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University