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Immunization Hepatitis B

Last updated on 22 September 2021

During practicals, internships and clinicals you can get in contact with the blood of fellow students and patients. This gives you the risk of contracting hepatitis B. It is therefore important to get an immunisation immediately at the start of your study. Do you want to know where and when you can get an immunisation?

Hepatitis B

For your own safety and the safety of others (such as patients and fellow students) you are expected to receive an immunisation against hepatitis B at the start of the study. The hepatitis B immunisation policy of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc is in accordance with national guidelines, of the Health Care Inspectorate.

Dutch health and safety legislation requires hospitals and other institutions to provide responsible care to their patients. Patients must not be exposed to the risk of infection with hepatitis B, for example by healthcare workers. Employees in positions at risk of infection, such as doctors, nurses and interns, must therefore also be immune for their own safety.

The screening, immunisation and control of the antibody titer are offered free of charge by Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. The responsibility for the immunisation is in your hands. If your immunisation and / or checks are not completed correctly at the end of the first year, you will not be able to access internships and certain practicals. Detailed information can be found in the document:

'The hepatitis B policy program Medicine Faculty of Medicine VU'

Please note: Have you previously gotten an immunisation against Hepatitis B? You are also obliged to report to Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. See "What do you have to do yourself?".

More information on Hepatitis B

  • What is Hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. You can contract this infection through blood-to-blood contact or blood-to-mucous membrane contact with a person who is a carrier of the virus.

    During your studies and later in your profession as a doctor you will have to deal with medical procedures (taking blood, stitching, etc.), where there is a risk of infection. In most cases, the infection goes unnoticed, but you can also get an acute illness with symptoms of liver inflammation (jaundice and extreme fatigue) immediately after the infection. Usually complete healing occurs. In some cases the disease becomes chronic or even fatal. In case of infection, there is a small chance that the virus will remain in the blood (hepatitis B carrier status). Long-term carriers can develop liver scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cell cancer. Being a carrier also means that you are a danger to others. Carriers and acutely ill can infect others.

  • Why are you at risk for hepatitis B during your studies?

    When performing a number of skills during practicals, internships and clinicals, you get in contact with the blood of fellow students and patients. This means you are at risk of contracting hepatitis B (mainly due to incidents with blood-contaminated instruments, such as needles, scalpels and glassware).

    Conversely, if you are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus yourself, you are a risk for fellow students and patients with blood-to-blood contact or blood-to-mucous membrane contact.

  • What can you do to prevent a hepatitis B infection?

    Prevention is the most important means! This means immunisation against hepatitis B and, of course, careful handling of blood and other human material.

    The immunisation produces antibodies against the hepatitis B virus. If you have been effectively vaccinated, you are protected against this virus and you cannot infect others. The immunisation only protects against hepatitis B. Other infectious diseases (such as hepatitis C and HIV) that are transmitted by blood are thus not prevented.

  • What does getting an immunisation mean?

    You will receive three injections in the upper arm. Then blood is taken to see if you have enough antibodies. This is almost always sufficient and you will have a lifelong immunity. You can find the first immunisation round in the vaccination program. It takes seven months to complete the entire program.

  • Which vaccine is used?

    The Engerix-B vaccine is safe and effective. This artificially prepared vaccine does not transmit any other infections and the risk of side effects is minimal. 

  • Vaccination schedule - Hepatitis B

    Update 20-8-2020: The vaccination schedule for hepatitis B 2020-2021 will follow soon.

    The times are: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

  • To whom does the vaccination schedule apply?

    Students from bachelor year 1 and students preparatory year Zigma:

    If you get your immunisation elsewhere or if you have already been vaccinated, registration is required at Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, also make an appointment for this in week 37/38 2018. Bring your vaccination data with you to this appointment.

    The following applies to other students:

    If you enroll at a different time than bachelor year 1 / preparatory year Zigma, please contact Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, even if you have already been vaccinated.

    The hepatitis B vaccination status of all medical students must be known to Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

    Contact details Team Healthy Working:

    Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc:
    Location ZH -1D 161 (entrance University General Practitioner), left desk.
    Tel: 020 4441977 available daily from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

  • When must the immunisation schedule be completed and should your antibodies be known?

    The vaccination schedule must be completed before the start of your care internship at the end of the first year of your study.

    Since the entire vaccination program (injections and blood collection) takes seven months and you may not respond to the vaccination, it is important that you participate in the vaccination program on time. You will have a care internship at the end of the first academic year. Before the start of this internship, your vaccination schedule must be completed and your hepatitis B vaccination status must be known. You can find the first vaccination round in the vaccination program.

  • What do you have to do yourself?

    Make an appointment for your vaccinations and blood collection at Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc for: your vaccinations and blood collection or for checking and recording your vaccination status if you have already been vaccinated

    Bachelor year 1 and students preparatory year Zigma

    Before the first vaccination, you must contact Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, to get an appointment for your vaccination schedule. If you get your vaccinations elsewhere or if you have already been vaccinated, you must register this with Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. Bring your vaccination information with you to this appointment!

    Other students

    If you are enrolled at a different time than bachelor year 1 / preparatory year Zigma and you have not yet been vaccinated: contact Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, as soon as possible. If you have been vaccinated, make an appointment to have your vaccination status registered.

    Obtaining your vaccination certificate

    If your antibody titre is good, your vaccination certificate will be sent to your home address by Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. This happens when all results of the cohort are known. Keep it safe. You will have to show it at every practicum / internship where risk actions are performed otherwise you will not get access. If the result of the blood test is insufficient, Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, will contact you. A carrier status test is done. You will be told whether and for how long you are protected and individual agreements will be made for a follow-up (vaccination) procedure.

    Keep your vaccination certificate up to date

    If agreements are made with you (for example, quarterly screening or revaccination), you will keep an eye on this yourself. Make sure your vaccination certificate is always updated with the latest information. If your vaccination certificate is not up to date, you will not be admitted to internships or practicals involving risk activities.

  • Does your blood contain enough antibodies against hepatitis B?

    Five weeks after vaccination 3 it is checked whether there are sufficient antibodies in your blood.

    Sufficient antibodies

    If you have produced enough antibodies after vaccination, you are protected against hepatitis B and you cannot infect others. You can participate in all education, including education that involves risk-forming activities.

    Too low of antibodies

    If you have insufficient antibodies after vaccination (hypo-responder), you must demonstrate that you do not have a hepatitis B infection (carrier status). If carrier status is excluded, you can participate in all education, including education involving risk-forming activities, for a period of five years.

    No antibodies

    If you have not produced antibodies after vaccination (non-responder) or if you refuse vaccination, you must demonstrate that you do not have hepatitis B infection (carrier status). You may only perform risk-forming activities if you have yourself checked every three months for possible infection with hepatitis B. You are advised against choosing a career involving risk-forming activities. You cannot follow an internship or a scientific internship with patient contacts / risk material abroad under the responsibility of VUmc.

    Risk-forming activities are activities in which a patient or fellow student is at risk of infection with the hepatitis B virus due to injury to the student during the procedure. Perhaps unnecessarily: you run the risk of becoming infected with the hepatitis B virus during risk-taking activities if you are not vaccinated. A risk-taking practice is an action in which a student who has not been vaccinated (or who has not produced antibodies) runs the risk of infection with hepatitis B by a patient or fellow student during the action. Detailed information can be found in the document: 'The hepatitis B policy of medicine training at the Faculty of Medicine VU'

  • What are the consequences if you don't get vaccinated?

    If you refuse the hepatitis B vaccination, you must undergo a screening for the presence of the hepatitis B virus (carrier status). You may only perform risk-forming activities if you have yourself checked every three months for possible infection with hepatitis B. The costs are for your own account.

    You cannot follow an internship or a scientific internship with patient contacts / risk material abroad under the responsibility of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

    Risk-forming activities are activities in which a patient or fellow student is at risk of infection with the hepatitis B virus due to injury to the student during the procedure. Perhaps unnecessarily: you run the risk of becoming infected with the hepatitis B virus during risk-taking activities if you are not vaccinated. A risk-taking practice is an action in which a student who has not been vaccinated (or who has not produced antibodies) runs the risk of infection with hepatitis B by a patient or fellow student during the action. Detailed information can be found in the document: 'The hepatitis B policy of medicine training at the Faculty of Medicine VU'

  • What are the consequences if you are a hepatitis B virus carrier?

    If you are a hepatitis B virus carrier, you should have your blood checked for viral load every six months. Depending on the viral load, risk-forming activities may or may not be performed. A career choice with risk-forming actions is not recommended.

    Risk-forming activities are activities in which a patient or fellow student is at risk of infection with the hepatitis B virus due to injury to the student during the procedure.

    You cannot follow patient-related internships / internships abroad under the responsibility of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

  • Contact information Team healthy working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

    Team Healthy Working Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc:
    Location ZH -1D 161 (entrance University General Practice), left desk.
    Tel: 020 4441977 available daily from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. 

Contact

For questions please contact the Student Desk.

The Student Desk will help you. Call us on +31 20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10.30 – 12.30h and 14.00 – 16.00h).

Send an e-mail to: studentdesk@vu.nl

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