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Hepatitis B vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccination

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Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Unlike hepatitis A which is spread through contaminated food and water, you can become infected with hepatitis B if you’re exposed to blood or other bodily fluids of someone who is infected. It's really common throughout the world particularly in South-East Asia, Eastern Europe, China and Sub Saharan Africa. However, a Hepatitis B vaccine can help protect you from the infection.

Hepatitis B, what is it?

Hepatitis B vaccination

The hepatitis B vaccination is simple, safe and effective to prevent transmission. You have the choice of several, well tolerated single and combined HBV vaccines. The hepatitis B vaccination is typically a 3 doses schedule over 6 months, but it can be given quicker if you’re short of time or at high risk of HBV infection.

A Hepatitis B Vaccination starts from £52 per dose for adults and £38 per dose for children. If you’re travelling then there’ll be a Travel Consultation cost of £30 per person and the vaccine cost, however, if you’re not travelling then it’s only the vaccination cost you pay.

Hepatitis B vaccine price

Dr Ravi Gowda

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases or one of his highly trained clinical colleagues will be looking after your vaccine requirements. 

Who will be providing your Hep B vaccination?
We're a team of trained experts

Experts in Infectious Diseases

and Travel Medicine

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Over 21 years of experience in Travel Health

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Cared for more than

10,000  patients

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Over 150 5 star reviews on Google Reviews

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1. Book an appointment online

Book and pay for your vaccination consultation online.

2. Attend your consultation

Complete an online health assessment and attend your consultation.

3. Get your Hep B vaccination

Get the vaccination you need and you're ready to go.

How it works
Prevention icon

Following the Hep B vaccination, there are additional prevention measures you can follow to help protect yourself: - Avoid unprotected sexual intercourse - If contact is unavoidable (e.g. due to your occupation), you should take appropriate protective precautions - Avoid getting tattoos or piercings or acupuncture in countries where hepatitis B is common - Do not share needles or any other injection equipment - Do not share shaving equipment

Prevention
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Hepatitis B immunisation is important, as once you have chronic HBV infection, it's difficult to clear the virus from your body. For patients with chronic infection we can consider treatment that can reduce the liver inflammation and therefore the risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer. Chronic HBV infection is commonly treated with tenofovir and entecavir but once you start a treatment, it's usually lifelong.

Hepatitis B treatment
Symptoms icon

There are often no symptoms of Hepatitis B or they are very mild, however undetected hepatitis B infection can lead to serious long-term complications - like liver failure. It's not curable, so the hepatitis B vaccination is very important. If you have HBV infection (Hepatitis B virus) you may experience: - Loss of appetite - Fever - Abdominal pain - Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) Many individuals who contract hepatitis B infection will clear the virus by themselves, but a small proportion of people will have a persistent, long-lasting infection which can ultimately lead to liver cirrhosis (scarring) and even liver cancer. Many adult men and women, however, do not have any symptoms. Interestingly children are even less likely to have symptoms but much more likely to have chronic (persistent) hepatitis B infection, and therefore long-term complications.

Hepatitis B symptoms
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Hepatitis B is caused by a DNA virus. It causes liver inflammation but can also affect other organs. You can get hepatitis B infection through blood transmission or sexual contact, but it can also be transmitted from mother to baby at birth. Certain activities can put you at risk and these include: - Unprotected sex - Exposure to blood or other blood product through work, e.g. if you work in healthcare - Exposure to contaminated needles. This could be from: Injected drug use, medical or dental care (emergency or planned), shared shaving equipment, and tattoos or skin piercing - Taking part in contact sports - Adopting children from countries where there is a high risk of hepatitis B - Long stay travel in high risk areas

Hepatitis B causes
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Hepatitis B rarely has any significant side effects. Injection site soreness is common and some people occasionally experience a mild headache, both of which resolve within 24 hours.

Hepatitis B vaccine side effects
  • Your primary course of 3 or 4 doses of hepatitis B vaccination is sufficient to give you life-long protection. If you're at a higher risk, for example if you’re a healthcare worker, then you’ll need to have a blood test to confirm that you have responded to the HBV vaccine and have a further booster.

  • In the UK, all babies are vaccinated as part of their NHS childhood immunisation schedule.

    You should also be vaccinated if you belong to the following groups:

     

     

    Other individuals at risk regardless of travel include:

     

    • People who inject drugs

    • Individuals who change their sexual partners frequently

    • Close family contacts of individuals who have chronic hepatitis B infection

    • Families adopting children from countries with a high or intermediate prevalence for hepatitis B infection

    • Foster carers

    • Individuals receiving regular blood or blood products and their carers

    • Patients with chronic renal failure

    • Patients with chronic liver disease

    • Inmates of custodial institutions

    • Individuals in residential accommodation for those with learning difficulties ( including staff)

    • Individuals at occupation risk eg. healthcare workers, laboratory staff, prison staff, morticians, embalmers

  • Hepatitis B vaccination is an inactivated vaccine. This means that you can receive the vaccine even if you are pregnant, but please discuss this with your specialist first. 

  • Although this can vary, the incubation period for hepatitis B is usually between 2 to 6 months.

  • Hepatitis B is not contagious through casual contact but can be transmitted by blood or blood products, bodily fluids, from mother to child or needle stick injuries.

  • You don't need to start again. You can carry on where you left off to complete the course without re-starting your hepatitis B vaccination course again.

  • Yes, we can do this. If you’re a healthcare worker you’ll need to demonstrate an adequate response to the hepatitis B vaccine as part of the compliance process. Once you've had your blood test results, we can guide you on the next steps too.

Frequently asked questions

Authors:

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine

MBBS, MRCP(UK), DTM&H, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, DFFP

Caitlin Lancaster, BSc

 

Resources:

  1. Hepatitis B – NHS 

  2. Hepatitis B symptoms and causes – Cleveland clinic

  3. Hepatitis B factsheet – World Health Organization