Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus.
- How is it transmitted? Hepatitis B can be transmitted to health care workers by exposure to blood or body fluids from hepatitis B infected patients. The risk of contracting hepatitis B from a needle stick with a hepatitis B contaminated needle can be up to 30%. The risk from a splash to the eyes is much lower. There is no cure for hepatitis B, but the vaccine can effectively prevent hepatitis B if you are exposed to the virus.
- Who should take the vaccine? Anyone who is at risk for contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials is strongly encouraged to receive the hepatitis B vaccine series. PLEASE NOTE: The US Public Health Service recommends the hepatitis B vaccine series to all health care workers.
- How much does it cost? The hepatitis B vaccine is offered free of charge to all faculty/staff who, while performing their job, could come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.
- How is it administered? The hepatitis B vaccine is available in two formulations. The first is given as a series of three intramuscular injections: initial, one month later, and six months later. The second is given as a series of two intramuscular injections: initial and one month later. OHC uses recombinant, noninfectious hepatitis B vaccine.
- What if I don't want to take the vaccine? Anyone at risk for exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials who does not wish to take the hepatitis B vaccine must sign a refusal statement. However, if you later decide that you want the hepatitis B vaccine, OHC will provide you the vaccine at that time at no charge. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all persons who, while performing their job, could possibly come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials be offered the hepatitis B vaccine series. See http://www.osha.gov.
Keywords: Hep B, HBV, Hepatitis B, immunization, inoculation, shot, vaccination