Student Health Services
Hepatitis B Immunization Policies and Procedures
Any student required to be in a clinical setting and subsequently risk exposure to blood and body fluids should be immunized with the Hepatitis B Vaccine. Although Student Health Services highly recommends the Hepatitis B Vaccine for all students, the vaccination is mandatory for students enrolled in the following Colleges as required by their respective Deans:
- Dental Medicine
- Health Professions - Anesthesia for Nurses, Cytotechnology, Cardiovascular Perfusion, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy
Students enrolled in programs in which the Hepatitis B Vaccine is mandatory are billed for the vaccine and a post-vaccination Hepatitis B Surface Quantitative Antibody titer with their initial MUSC tuition and fees. If the student has already received the vaccine prior to MUSC enrollment, serologic evidence* of immunity to Hepatitis B with a copy of the actual lab report must be provided to Student Health Services in order to delete the charge from their account. Please note that if your Hepatitis B Surface Quantitative Antibody Titer is negative or borderline, the charge will not be deleted as you are required to receive additional injections of the vaccine followed by a repeat antibody titer. *CDC recommends a Hepatitis B Surface Quantitative Antibody Titer as serologic evidence of immunity.
The Hepatitis B Vaccine series must be initiated and completed within the first academic year. The series consists of a total of 3 injections (1.0 ml each) and a post-vaccination Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer. Students entering in the Summer or Fall semester must begin the vaccine series no later than October 15th in order to complete the series before the end of the following Spring Semester. Students entering in the Spring Semester should begin the vaccine series no later than March 15th in order to receive the first two vaccines before the end of the Spring semester with the 3rd injection due at the beginning of the next Fall semester.
Students enrolled in programs in which the Hepatitis B Vaccine is not mandatory, but who wish to receive the vaccine, may do so at any time during their enrollment at MUSC. The fee for the entire series must be paid at Student Health Services at the time the series is begun.
Fees for the Hepatitis B Vaccine Series are not refundable. Students who begin their series at MUSC, but leave prior to completing it (withdrawal, LOA, graduation) may receive the remaining injections at Student Health Services for an administration fee of $3.00 per injection.
- Students may begin their Hepatitis B Vaccine series any time after semester classes begin, Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM - 3:45 PM. An appointment is not required.
- Students must read and sign a consent form for the series. The Recombinant HB Vaccine is a non-infectious subunit viral vaccine derived from the Hepatitis B surface antigen produced by a recombinant strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The vaccine is produced from the cultures of this recombinant yeast strain. Therefore, the vaccine is contraindicated in people with hypersensitivity to yeast.
- Students complete two (2) postcards with their home address. These cards are mailed by Student Health Services to notify the student when their #2 and #3 injections are due. These are the only reminders that are provided by Student Health Services. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the Hepatitis B Vaccine Series within the first academic year as required by the Dean of each college respectively.
- The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered as a series of 3 injections over a period of 6 months. When the student receives the first (#1) injection, a Hepatitis B Vaccine card is initiated by the nurse and given to the student. This card documents the date of the first injection as well as the dates that the #2 (1 month) and #3 (6 months) injections are due. In order to have a personal record of the series, the student should bring this card to! be signed by the nurse each time an injection is given.
- Students are to return to MUSC Student Health Services in 1-2 months after their final #3 injection to have a blood test done to check for the presence of Hepatitis B antibodies (HbsAb titer). A positive result means the student has developed the desired protective antibodies to Hepatitis B and is considered immune to Hepatitis B. A negative result means the student did not develop protective antibodies from the vaccine and is still susceptible to Hepatitis B. This occurs in approximately 5% of the population. It is vital that healthcare professionals be immune. Therefore, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends that healthcare professionals receive an entire second Hepatitis B Vaccine series.
- After completion of a second series, a Hepatitis B Antibody titer (HbsAb) is repeated in 1-2 months. Approximately 30 - 50% of persons will develop positive HBsAb levels after completing a second series. A positive result means the student is immune to Hepatitis B after revaccination with the second series. If the HbsAb is still negative after re-vaccination, the student will be tested for the Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HbsAg) to determine if the student is chronically infected with Hepatitis B.
- If the HbsAg is negative, the student is considered to be a "primary non-responder." This occurs in approximately 5% of the population. The student will be counseled regarding the importance of "Universal Precautions" for protection from potential exposures to blood and body fluids.
- If a student is HbsAb-positive 1-2 months after completing a Hepatitis B Vaccine series and subsequently becomes HbsAb-negative, "booster" doses are not recommended.
- Students who have received the Hepatitis B Vaccine series elsewhere are to provide written documentation of their immunizations and a Hepatitis B surface Antibody titer (copy of lab report required). If the Hepatitis B surface Antibody is negative, they should follow the procedure outlined in #5 and #6.