It has now been suggested by most hospitals that newborns get a vaccine to protect against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV can cause a lifelong infection, serious liver damage and even death. The hepatitis B vaccine is a series of three different shots.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all newborns get the first shot soon after birth or before leaving the hospital. If the mother does not have hepatitis B, the first shot can wait for 2 months. The second and last shot should be given before 18 months of age.