When returning 1 month later and after another 6 months for hepatitus B
recombinant vaccine boosters, what happens if they use a different
manufacturers recombinant hepatitus B vaccine than the previous time?
Clinics sometimes switch suppliers. Some clinicians have said you never
need a booster after the two boosters. The package inserts with two
different manufacturers of recombinant hepatitus B vaccine have
different recommendations about getting an additional booster several
years after the initial vaccination series. Should you get your titre
checked? How regularly? Should you get an additional hepatitus B booster
in 3, 5, 10 years or later? How many manufacturers are there of
recombinant hepatitus B vaccine? Who are the manufacturers of
recombinant hepatitus B vaccine?
Hi. Thank you for your question.
There are two yeast-derived recombinant vaccines that have been FDA (U.S.
Food and Drug Administration) approved against Hepatitis B. They are
"Recombivax HB" (Merck & Co.) and "Engerix-B" (SmithKline Beecham
Pharmaceuticals). There is also an older version of the Hepatitis B vaccine
(Heptavax-B) that is plasma derived. All of these are essentially the same
vaccine. The vaccines are all interchangeable. Therefore, if one shot (of
the 3 shot series) is Recombivax HB, and another is Engerix-B, there
shouldn't be any problem. The 3 shot series consists of the first shot at
day one, the second 30 days later, and the third 6 months after the first.
As to the issue of whether a person needs a booster shot or not, currently,
the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend booster
vaccinations at this time. The length of immunity in most people who have
been vaccinated, is presently unknown, and the need for booster immunizations
is presently not established. Further studies will indicate if a need for
re-immunization is required. However, as far as we know right now, there is
no need for routine booster immunizations (beyond the standard 3 shot series)
at this time.
Normally, Hepatitis B immunity titres are not routinely done, except if the
person has been occupationally exposed to Hepatitis B. If these titres
indicate possible insufficient immunity, one additional booster shot (or even
the entire 3 shot series) is an option. However, for most people, there is
sufficient immunity against Hepatitis B, as long as they have undergone the
full 3 shot series.
This information applies to the vast majority of persons being immunized
against Hepatitis B. Some modifications may be needed in certain high-risk
populations, especially dialysis patients. And remember that the Hepatitis B
vaccine will NOT protect against Hepatitis A, C, E, and others. There is a
separate vaccine against Hepatitis A, but no other vaccine exists against the
other forms of viral Hepatitis.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).