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Hepatitis B Risk
Feb 15, 2014

Dear Dr Taylor, Two days ago I went to a tailor. While trying on a suit, he was attaching a few needles to it, which had been in his mouth for many minutes before. Unintended I moved my thumb towards one of the needles and got badly pricked by it. I started bleeding immediately, and it took some time till the bleeding stopped. When I got home, I saw this needle-prick created quiet a cut of at least 1 cm length, and it still hurts two days later. Since this tailor is known for his promiscuous life-style, I have become scared that this incident may have been a potential risk of acquiring hepatitis B. Although I got the vaccination against HBV in the past (all the 3 shots - in 2005), I am afraid that the heavily saliva-coated needle (by pricking my thumb) could have transferred a significant amount of the virus to my blood flow. My questions are as follows: 1. What is the risk of acquiring HBV in this case (assuming the tailor has HBV)? 2. Is there any medical contraindication for getting a booster vaccination at this point? (Meaning, if I took one - would it limit my body's ability to fight a potential exposure to HBV?). Thank you so much for your Time, G.

Response from Dr. Taylor

Once we are vaccinated successfully against hep B we are protected for life. I see no indication for a booster vaccination.

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