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Can a fully Hep B vaccinated person be infected?
Aug 22, 2005

I had completed the 3-shot hep B vaccine series a year before I met my partner who has chronic hep B. Will I get infected if we engage in sexual activities? I work in a hospital. Could I potentially be a "carrier" to the patients? Because of my profession, I am required to take another hep B titer test if I switch jobs. Will my antibody count become lower over time with exposure to the virus? Also, is there just one hep B vaccine for all the clades of the virus? If the virus mutates and develops resistance to some antiviral medications, will I still be protected by the vaccine?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If your hepatitis B vaccine series was successful, it should be protective. Your physician can run the appropriate blood test (antibody titers) to determine if this is the case. If you are not protected, you'll need to be revaccinated. Once successfully vaccinated, you are immune and cannot be a "carrier." Re-exposure to the virus will not cause your "antibody count to become lower over time." The current hepatitis B vaccine is protective for all types of hepatitis B. (The hep B virus story is quite different from the HIV story of evolving strains, clades and resistance to antiviral drugs).

Dr. Bob



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