The website Green Med Info has assembled 44 articles which together list 60 diseases or adverse unintended consequences associated with hepatitis B vaccination.

Among the problems the vaccination may cause are:
Autoimmune inflammatory polyneuropathy
Multiple sclerosis
Anaphylactic shock and death in infants
Chronic arthritis
Bell’s palsy

According to one of the studies linked on Green Med Info:
“Evidence … suggests that hepatitis B vaccine is positively associated with adverse health outcomes in the general population of US children.”

Green Med Info
Annals of Epidemiology January 2001;11(1):13-21

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
There is no vaccine that gets me more upset than hepatitis B. There are two primary reasons for this. It is given to virtually every newborn in the hospital and many times without parents’ consent shortly after the child is born. If the parent chooses not to have their 12-hour-old newborn vaccinated in the newborn nursery, it takes enormous effort on the parent’s part to make sure this vaccine is not given without their informed consent before the baby leaves the hospital.

Secondly this vaccine given on the day of birth is the least justifiable of any vaccine that I can think of. A child can ONLY get the disease from IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected partner, a blood transfusion using contaminated blood, OR from the mother.

There are few or no detectable antibodies in the blood of most children within 7-10 years after they are vaccinated so booster shots will probably be recommended by government officials in the future for children entering adolesence.

Obviously the only real threat during infancy is if a child is born to an infected mother. So why not screen ALL pregnant women for the disease and only give the vaccine to those infants whose mothers actually test positive for hepatitis B? That policy would be a lot less expensive, as well as a lot safer for the majority of babies born in the United States.

Also what about the side effects associated with adverse health outcomes in the general population of US children? How about one linked to serious autoimmune disorders, autism, Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, anaphylactic shock and death? Just one vaccination, hepatitis B, has been linked to all of the above and more, yet continues to be part of the standard government-recommended childhood vaccination schedule, with the first dose given at 12 hours of age in the newborn nursery of most hospitals.

An Unusually High Number of Adverse Reactions
Routine use of the hepatitis B vaccine for all newborns began in 1991, and according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), operated jointly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there were 36,788 officially reported adverse reactions to hepatitis B vaccines between 1992 and 2005. Of these, 14,800 were serious enough to cause hospitalization, life-threatening health events or permanent disabilities.

Further, 781 people were reported to have DIED following hepatitis B vaccination — and this is likely an underestimate because only a fraction of the serious health problems, including deaths, following vaccination are ever acknowledged. This serious underreporting is due to an unwillingness of many doctors and vaccine providers to report vaccine-related injuries and deaths and also due to a lack of public awareness about how to recognize signs and symptoms of vaccine reactions.

For instance, when babies die after hep B vaccinations, most of the time their deaths are automatically attributed to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) without investigation into whether the vaccine caused the baby’s sudden death.

Common reactions to the vaccine include fatigue, muscle weakness, fever, headache, irritability, and joint pain. But there have been reports of disabling neurological and immunological disorders that have developed following hepatitis B vaccinations as well, including:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Guillain Barre syndrome
Bell’s Palsy
Rheumatoid arthritis
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia purpura
Convulsions and brain disorders such as encephalitis (brain swelling) and brain demyelination
Immune dysfunction
Visual and hearing impairments, including optic neuritis
Autism spectrum disorders

A study published September 2009 in Annals of Epidemiology also found that giving hepatitis B vaccine to infant boys more than tripled their risk for an autism spectrum disorder. This was doubly concerning because an earlier study by the same researcher group, using a different database, found the same results.

There are more reports of serious adverse reactions in children than there are cases of childhood hepatitis B reported in the United States! From 1990 to 2002, there were a total of just 13,829 cases of acute hepatitis B reported among children aged 19 and younger, and as the CDC stated:

“The incidence among adolescents aged 15-19 years was consistently higher than the incidence among younger age groups.”
Which begs the question, why are babies being vaccinated for this disease?

Why is the Hepatitis B Vaccine Recommended?
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects your liver, and spreads the same way as AIDS — through direct contact with the body fluids (particularly blood and semen) of an infected person. There are two primary circumstances in which your baby would be at significant risk for contracting hepatitis B and both are quite rare in the U.S.:

If you are pregnant and are a carrier for the hepatitis B virus, your baby could be at risk for being infected during childbirth. However, you can easily find out if you are hepatitis B positive by getting tested while pregnant.
Your infant could be at risk for hepatitis B infection by receiving a blood transfusion using hepatitis B infected blood. In America, all blood products are required to receive proper screening for hepatitis B virus and other pathogens prior to use. There is no way to achieve 100 percent safety with blood transfusions, however.
Universal hepatitis B vaccination might be a good idea IF the vaccines were completely safe and gave lifelong immunity — but as the CDC states, it’s currently not known how long immunity lasts when children are vaccinated at birth:

“Among vaccinated cohorts who initiated Hepatitis B vaccination at birth, long-term follow-up studies are ongoing to determine the duration of vaccine-induced immunity.”

So why are babies vaccinated at birth, if it’s known the mother does not have hepatitis B?

The CDC states:
” … because errors or delays in documenting, testing, and reporting maternal HBsAg status can and do occur, administering the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth to all infants acts as a safety net, reducing the risk for perinatal infection when maternal HBsAg status is either unknown or incorrectly documented at delivery.

Also, initiating the Hepatitis B vaccine series at birth has been shown to increase a child’s likelihood of completing the vaccine series on schedule.”

In other words, if you’re pregnant and have tested negative for hepatitis B, it’s advised that you vaccinate your baby anyway, just in case the test was wrong — and because the CDC believes you’re more likely to adhere to their dictated schedule if you start early, just hours after birth.

It is important to be tested for hepatitis B if you’re pregnant, as it’s possible to have a chronic infection with no symptoms and not know it. However, if you use the CDC’s logic that you can’t trust the test results anyway, this obviously important preventive step would be rendered pointless!

But again, most babies are at very low risk of hepatitis B in the first place, so the question to ask is does the vaccine’s benefit outweigh its risks? It’s worth noting as well that, as adults, most people infected with hepatitis B don’t require hospital care and the majority recover without complications and are left with natural, lifelong immunity.

It’s Your Right to Ask Questions About Vaccinations

You have every right to not only ask questions about vaccine safety, but also to decide which vaccinations you would like to receive or decline for yourself and your children. In the case of the hepatitis B vaccine, if you’re giving birth in a hospital you can let your nurses, obstetrician and pediatrician know whether or not you consent to having your baby vaccinated.

It’s your choice.

There are reports that some newborns are being vaccinated in the newborn nursery against the parents’ wishes, however, so if you decide to opt out of the vaccine it is a good idea to keep your newborn with you at all times, or have a family member stay with the baby, while in the hospital.

But please remember that it’s up to you to get informed about every medical procedure being given to your baby, and vaccinations are no exception. I encourage you to ask these eight questions, developed by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), if you are considering getting yourself or your child vaccinated:

Am I or my child sick right now?
Have I or my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?
Do I or my child have a personal or family history of vaccine reactions, neurological disorders, severe allergies or immune system problems?
Do I know the disease and vaccine risks for myself or my child?
Do I have full information about the vaccine’s side effects?
Do I know how to identify and report a vaccine reaction?
Do I know I need to keep a written record, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number, for all vaccinations?
Do I know I have the right to make an informed choice?

As NVIC states:
“If you answered yes to questions 1, 2, and 3, or no to questions 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and do not understand the significance of your answer, you may want to review information on NVIC’s website with links to other websites and resources so you can better answer these questions designed to educate consumers about the importance of making fully informed vaccine decisions.”

Further, I highly recommend all parents consider the following steps before consenting to vaccinations, including hepatitis B:

Educate yourself about vaccination, including reading the vaccine manufacturer product inserts for vaccines that your doctor is recommending and reviewing vaccine information on this website and websites like
Help educate your family, and your community by circulating this newsletter among your friends, neighbors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, school principles, nurses, local newspaper, TV and radio stations. Send a copy of this newsletter with a personal note to your elected representatives.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) provides information for consumers about vaccines and diseases and works to protect vaccine choices. Register today for the NVIC Advocacy Portal, an online interactive database and communication system that will help YOU protect vaccine exemptions in YOUR state.
Report vaccine reactions to the federal government (VAERS) and to the NVIC Vaccine Reaction Registry by visiting the NVIC website. This reporting is EXTREMELY important and necessary if we are to accelerate change.
If you are pregnant, get tested for hepatitis B disease. If you are infected, your baby may be at higher risk for becoming infected with hepatitis B and is a candidate for vaccination, so you should explore all sides of the issue with your physician.
Stand up for your informed consent rights. If you are opposed to the hepatitis B vaccine for your baby at birth, you can amend the “consent for medical treatment” forms you sign upon entering the hospital before giving birth by writing on the form that you do not give consent for your baby’s hepatitis B vaccination in the newborn nursery.
Vaccine exemptions: Although hepatitis B vaccines may be “mandated” for your child to attend school, each state offers different legal exemptions (medical, religious, and philosophical). Research your state’s specific vaccine requirements and find out what kind of exemption to vaccination you are allowed to exercise in your state.