How can I protect myself from Hepatitis as a health care worker?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all health care workers, emergency personnel, and other individuals who are exposed to blood or body fluids on the job, should be vaccinated against hepatitis B. The vaccine is safe and effective and can protect you for a lifetime. The vaccine is given in three doses over a 6 month period (0, 1, and 6 months). It is recommended that health care workers have their hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) level tested 4-6 weeks after completion of the series, to make sure that they have built up protection against HBV. Once a blood test shows that a health care worker is protected, the CDC does not recommend routine antibody testing or vaccine boosters. However, each health care institution may have its own hepatitis B vaccine protocol. If a person does not develop the protective antibodies after completion of the vaccine series, then the entire series should be repeated (with antibody testing 4-6 weeks after completion of the additional second series).

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