Employees who have work exposure to bloodborne pathogens are offered the Hepatitis B vaccination series, within 10 days of beginnng work, unless:
- They have previously received the vaccination series,
- They have previously demonstrated immunity, or
- The vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons.
In these cases they will not be offered the series.
The vaccination series is offered at no cost to the employee.
Although you will be offered the vaccine, you do not have to be vaccinated. You may choose to decline the vaccination series, in which case you will be asked to sign a declination form. If you do decline the initial offer, you may choose to receive the vaccination at a later time.
The Hepatitis B vaccine is effective at producing immunity to Hepatitis B in 97% of those completing the vaccination series. The Hepatitis B vaccination is given in a series of three shots. The second shot is given one month after the first, and the third shot follows five months after the second. This series gradually builds up the body’s immunity to the Hepatitis B virus.
The Hepatitis B vaccine also protects you from Hepatitis D since you cannot get Hepatitis D without first being infected with Hepatitis B.