Hepatitis B Vaccine Question


  • Specializes in Case Management, Public Health, Psych, Medsurg. Has 9 years experience.

I'm a nursing student and as you know it is required to have the Hep B vaccine before starting the clinicals. I got the series in '93 but still needed a titer. My results were negative. I was told by the urgent care I went to that all I needed was a booster and to retest. I was also told by my PA friend to get one more dose and then retest (I'm not sure if there is a difference). I asked my school secretary whether I could get a booster and then retest, but she insisted I needed to redo the whole series and then retest. She said that it is what the hospitals require. I'm gonna do what she says b/c obviously she is the one that has to approve me to go, but I'm just curious, for educational purposes, why there would be a need to redo the whole series if getting a booster or another dose proved to be sufficient. Is the three dose safer or stronger than a booster?


classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

repeating the series is what is recommended by the CDC. If, after the second series your titer is still negative, then you are considered someone who is not able to convert. You should be appropriately counseled at that time about your risks.

When you have questions about this type thing go to the official source - in this case it would be CDC or your local health department. The secretary was right, but I would not seek advice from that source.

Also, your titer should not have results that are "negative or Positive". For it to be specific to this virus it should be a quantitative surface antibody test, not a qualitative one (should have a number value).

RN1485, BSN

124 Posts

Specializes in Case Management, Public Health, Psych, Medsurg. Has 9 years experience.

Yes, you are right. I shouldn't have said "negative". The number value was .48 and was inconsistent with immunity. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I was just curious. :)