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Hepatitis B Testing and Vaccination
Jun 7, 2004

Hi Barbara, I'm awaiting testing for a poss. exposure to Hepatitis B but I would like to take the vaccination course now. Obviously, I'm concerned about putting my close family at risk, so if I test for Anti HBS after the vaccination, could I test for Hep B core antibody as well to show if I was really infected or just responding to the vaccine? I would be grateful for any help as I'm extremely anxious.

Thankyou.

Response from Dr. McGovern

It can be quite anxiety-provoking to have a possible exposure to hepatitis B. It is important to discuss the full details of the possible exposure with your physician to see what he or she thinks of your potential risk. If there is a perception of significant risk, there are steps to take to successfully prevent infection.

1. If possible, it would be helpful if the HBV status of the source patient can be determined. 2. Administration of Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin to you as soon as possible would be recommended for prevention. Some studies suggested that even if given in 7 days, immunoglobulin still was protective. 3. If you are being given immunoglobulin for prevention of Hepatitis B, it would also follow that you should be given hepatitis B vaccine also. 4. If you get take these preventive measures, which are very effective, your family should not be at risk.

Dr. McGovern



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