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U.S. News

Hepatitis B Vaccine Recommended for All Unvaccinated at-Risk Healthcare Personnel

January 6, 2014

This article was reported by Healio.

Healio reported that CDC recommended all unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated healthcare personnel (HCP) who risk exposure to blood or body fluids receive hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination. Vaccinated HCP should have serologic testing one to two months after the final dose. HBV antibody levels of 10 milli-International Units per milliliter (mIU/mL) or more indicated immunity; HCPs with antibody levels lower than 10mIU/mL should have an additional dose of HBV vaccine and another serologic test in one to two months.

Although the number of acute HBV infections has declined in the United States, HCPs still risked exposure from patients with chronic HBV. CDC recommended testing newly hired and graduating HCPs and administering additional doses of HBV vaccine, as necessary, to protect them from exposure.

Initial post-exposure management included "washing wounds and skin sites exposed with soap and water"; testing known HBV sources; referring the patient for appropriate management; and reporting the HBV infection to state or local authorities. When the exposure source was unknown, the exposed person should receive treatment as if the source were HBV-infected.

An exposed HCP who was unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or had no documented vaccination should have one dose of HBV immune globulin and a vaccine dose as soon as possible after exposure to a confirmed source. The HCP should complete the vaccine series and have antibody testing. Even if the exposure source did not have HBV, the HCP should have the vaccine series and antibody testing.

HCP with antibody levels of 10 mIU/mL or more at the time of testing did not require post-exposure HBV management. Those with lower levels should have one dose of HBV immune globulin and vaccination.

The full article, "CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management" was published online in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report at

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Talk to a Physician About HIV/Hepatitis Coinfection in Our "Ask the Experts" Forums
More News and Research on Hepatitis B Prevention and Treatment

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