“How long does protection from hepatitis B vaccine last?
Studies indicate that immunologic memory remains intact for at least 20 years among healthy vaccinated individuals who initiated hepatitis B vaccination >6 months of age. The vaccine confers long-term protection against clinical illness and chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Cellular immunity appears to persist even though antibody levels might become low or decline below detectable levels.”
In addition to how long does the Hep B vaccination last, everyone should have a blood test (Hep B titre) about 6 months after they finish the Hep B vaccination series to see if their body accepted the vaccination. I had the Hep B vaccination a number of years ago and it didn't work for me. I took the series of vaccinations again last year and, as soon as I'm done with Hep C treatment, I'm going to have them check to see if the 2nd Hep B vaccination series worked. For some, it just doesn't "take".
Very good point; I never developed protective antibodies either. Both of my Twinrix series were taken under antiviral therapy for HCV; I wonder if this was to blame? I was told by my Hepatologist that it just doesn’t ‘take’ in some individuals, and that my protection should be avoidance :o).
Didn't know about titering to see if it took! Maybe I'll do that, too. It's a good idea to get Hep A vaccination, too (by just weird chance, I had both a year before hep c diagnosis). I had a freind who nearly died of Hep A after foreign travel and vaccination is available.
The question of when is the best time to take the Hep A and B vaccinations has never been clearly answered for me. When I tested positive for Hep C last year, my doctor told me to be sure to get the Hep A & B vaccinations but didn't give me any instructions as to whether or not it would be best to take the entire series prior to starting treatment or not and I didn't really think about whether it would matter one way or the other. So, I started the series last year in June and finished in December. Two shots were prior to starting Hep C treatment and the final one was during Hep C treatment.
The first time I had the Hep B vaccination series was in approximately 1989 (I forgot it was that long ago) and the first that I was actually tested for Hep A, B or C was last year which would have been 19 years after the Hep B series. I guess since I just realized it was 19 years ago, I'm not actually sure if that first series didn't work or if it just wore off since 20 years is the general time frame.
I'm very curious as to whether this last series of vaccinations worked for me and I'm still very curious as to whether or not it makes a difference if people take their vaccinations during Hep C treatment.
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