Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
A vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B was developed and first became available in 1981. A blood test for the Hepatitis B surface antibody can prove immunity after the vaccine series is completed.
To become compliant for Hepatitis B you must first decide between the two choices below:
Have blood drawn and tested for immunity
Depending on your age or if you have ever worked in the health care field you may have been immunized for Hepatitis B
You may have been immunized for Hepatitis B if:
You were in middle or high school in California in 1997 or later
You have worked in healthcare
If either of the above is true you need to have your blood drawn and tested for immunity. This blood test is called a Hepatitis B surface antibody titer.
Start Hepatitis B vaccine series
If you know that you have never been immunized for Hepatitis B then you must start the vaccine series. If you need Hep A as well as B you can choose to have the Twinrix vaccine series(Hep A & B combo shot). Both series are given as:
Dose #1 now, #2 in 1 month, #3 approximately 5 months after #2
One month after the #3 vaccine have blood drawn and tested for immunity. This blood test is called a Hepatitis B surface antibody titer.(You do not need to titer for Hep A)
Ultimately, you must have a positive or immune titer for Hepatitis B antibodies in order to be compliant
If your titer comes back negative, non-immune or equivocal you will need to receive the 3 shot vaccine series and re-titer one month after the last shot.
If titer remains negative, non-immune or equivocal after two full shot series, you are considered an Non-Responder. Please go to Non-Responder page.