So I have a houseguest coming over to stay in a month who is a Hep B carrier, and I've recently found through my hep panel that I tested all negative which means I'm not immune to it, and have never been vaccinated before.
I was born in China and my parents insists that they had given me three shots of hep b vaccine when I was little (base shots?) but from the bloodwork it seems to have expired as I have never gotten any booster doses. I am going back to China for more than a year for study purposes so I will be exposed to the general environment - it is a high risk country for hep b.
My question is, should I get vaccinated, and where? Does it make a difference if I want to vaccinate in the UK - will I have to start again, or can I just get a booster dose? Is there any difference in the dosage of the vaccine, composition, side effects etc? Also I am leaving for China in two months, is it worth waiting till I go to China or before I leave?
Another question is - just how careful do I have to be around my houseguest? There is confused information about whether hep b actually is transmitted through saliva, ie can I eat with him in the same dish etc. What if he or I have cuts in our mouths or something? I know it sounds paranoid but any help to straighten it out would be greatly appreciated.
Do get vaccine before you go for your own sake. If u need to have antibodies quickly, they will give you 3 shots in 3 months. If u had vaccine before like your parents said and had no antibodies, then you did not respond to vaccine and you need to get another round of vaccine. Hope it helps
Research from Taiwan indicates HBV vaccine generally protects for 25 years. By all means, get a booster shot and test for antibodies.
What is the risk of transmission from saliva when eating from the same are no documented cases. Yes, viral dna do and can be found in saliva especially in a hbver with very high viral load. But can it cause infection? During the SARS crisis in Hong Kong, the local introduced the custom of common spoon and chopstick when sharing a dish - this is a good habit, as we all carry our own peculiar collection of germs.
In short, there is no definite answer. It is up to the individual to decide, just like whether it is safe to fly or not.
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