Hepatitis B Post-Exposure Treatment
If an uninfected, unvaccinated person - or anyone who does not know their hepatitis B status - is exposed to the hepatitis B virus through contact with infected blood, a timely “postexposure prophylaxis” (PEP) can prevent an infection and subsequent development of a chronic infection or liver disease. This means a person should seek immediate medical attention to start the hepatitis B vaccine series. In some circumstances a drug called “hepatitis B immune globulin” (HBIG) is recommended in addition to the hepatitis B vaccine for added protection.
- Any person who is uninfected/unvaccinated or does not know their hepatitis B status should receive “postexposure prophylaxis” after contact with potentially infected blood.
- Neither pregnancy nor breastfeeding should be considered a contraindication to administration of the hepatitis B vaccination and HBIG to women.
- Employers are required to establish exposure-control plans that include follow-up for their employees and to comply with incident reporting requirements mandated by the 1992 OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard.