Immunizations

Hepatitis B Vaccine

What is Hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a serious virus that causes inflammation of the liver. You can be infected directly, through infected blood or body fluids, sharing needles; or indirectly, by coming in contact with surfaces or objects contaminated with the Hepatitis B virus.

How is Hepatitis B Transmitted?
Some common ways of getting Hepatitis B include contact with infected blood/body fluids through:

  • sexual contact
  • sharing needles
  • repeatedly sharing an infected person's toothbrush
  • razor or earrings
  • cuts and scrapes during contact sports
  • and potentially by piercing or tattooing

Symptoms of Hepatitis B
The symptoms usually associated with Hepatitis B include:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea & vomiting
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • fever
  • headache
  • brownish urine
  • light gray stools
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Prevention
To protect yourself from Hepatitis B, get vaccinated. It consists of a series of three (3) injections at specific intervals over a six (6) month period. Additional information on Hepatitis can be obtained from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at: CDC Hepatitis

Receiving Vaccination
The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended, but not required, for students attending NIU. The Preventive Medicine department offers the Hepatitis B vaccine for a charge. Students who have had doses administered at home can complete the series at Health Services.