The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.
The hepatitis B vaccine is considered one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever made. Numerous studies looking at the vaccine's safety have been conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.
After a marked decline in acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections reported to CDC since the 1990s - with the widespread introduction of hepatitis B vaccination - there has been no consistent trend in acute HBV cases since 2012; that is, reported cases have been fluctuating around 3,000 cases each year. In 2016, there were 3,218 cases reported to CDC.
Your employer must offer you a hepatitis B vaccination series if you have a risk of occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Your employer must pay for the cost of the vaccination series. You must be offered the vaccination before you undertake tasks that expose you to potentially infectious materials, and at a reasonable time and location.
The hepatitis B immunization series requires three separate injections.
The hepatitis B vaccine is very effective in protecting against the hepatitis B virus. Approximately 90 percent of people who receive the vaccine will become fully immune to the virus. It is given in a series of three shots. The entire series of shots is required to provide full immunity. The vaccine is safe with very few adverse reactions.
Typical Vaccination Schedule: The first injection can be administered at any given time. The second injection must be given at least one month after the first, and the third injection must be given six months after the first.
A licensed physician or other healthcare professional will perform or supervise the vaccinations.
Your employer does not have to offer you the vaccination series if you have previously received the complete series or have tested as immune to HBV.
You can decline the vaccination for hepatitis B after being informed of the risks and benefits. To do this, you must sign a declination form. If you initially decline the vaccination for Hepatitis B, you can later request it from your employer at no charge.
There are currently two vaccines used to prevent hepatitis B infection in the United States. Neither vaccine contains blood products. You cannot get Hepatitis B from these vaccines.
Tony has just been accepted to a local paramedic training program. Before beginning the program, the school requires students to receive the Hepatitis B vaccination and pay for it themselves.
Typically, only employers are required to pay for the hepatitis B vaccination series. Post-secondary schools can require the vaccination series as an admissions requirement and require the applicant to pay for the cost. There have been instances where public school districts (K-12) have been required to pay for the vaccination series if there is a potential for the student to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens as part of their coursework.
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