Is it possible to be hepatitis B positive inspite of being vaccinated?
Q: As a precaution, I had taken three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine. Recently when I went for blood donation for a needy patient, it was found that my blood was positive for hepatitis B. Kindly clarify whether vaccine can have effect even after 3 years? What are the tests to be undergone for knowing exact position? If found positive from all the tests, what is treatment?
A:We presume you do not have any symptoms and the positive hepatitis B status was found during the routine screening for blood donation. It appears that you are an asymptomatic carrier of Hepatitis B virus. The vaccination probably did not have any effect, since you might have been HBsAg positive prior to the vaccination. To confirm your status, please get your Hepatitis B virus profile - HBsAg, IgM HBc (to check for activity), HBeAg (for infectivity) and antibodies (HBsAb and HBeAb), along with liver function tests (S. bilirubin, SGOT, SGPT, Alkaline phosphatase). All of these are blood tests requiring a total of 3-5 ml of blood. You should visit a gastroenterologist for a detailed physical evaluation, along with the results of your blood tests, who will be able to guide you regarding the routine tests to be done in future, at regular intervals, to check for your hepatitis B status.