for Veterans and the Public
What should you do if exposed to the hepatitis B virus?
If you know you were recently exposed to the hepatitis B virus, you may get protection from an injection of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG), which is different from the hepatitis B vaccine. HBIG is given only when it is suspected or known that someone has been infected with hepatitis B, and it is given within 24 hours after the exposure. Unlike the vaccine, which is not given after exposure, HBIG is given before a potential exposure. HBIG will protect you for 3 to 6 months, but it is strongly recommended that you also begin the 3-shot hepatitis B vaccination series within 7 days of your exposure.