Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B

Risk of hepatitis B is also quite high for travellers. Hepatitis B is a viral hepatitis disease usually acquired through exchange of contaminated bodily fluid. The risk of hepatitis B is increasing, considering the rise in medical tourism (medical procedures/dental procedures) to countries in Asia. Hepatitis B can also be acquired through use of other unsterile equipment in procedures such as tattooing and body piercing. Hepatitis B can be prevented if the travellers get hepatitis B vaccine before travelling. It is important to note that travellers require at least 2 doses of hepatitis B vaccine prior to travel in order to be adequately protected (preferably 3 doses to complete the series). Children who are born in British Columbia get routine hepatitis B vaccine after birth at 2, 4 and 6 months; this program started in 2001. Children who did not get hepatitis B during infancy will receive in schools in grade 6. If you do not get all your hepatitis B vaccine doses before travel, you usually need booster doses of hepatitis B after your return.

Travellers who have not received hepatitis A and B before can get combined hepatitis A and B vaccine called Twinrix. It is important to note that travellers require at least 2 doses of Twinrix prior to travel to gain adequate protection (preferably 3 doses to complete the series). There are >125 countries in the world where travellers need both hepatitis A and typhoid fever vaccination, a combined vaccine called ViVaxim is available. For both products, booster doses are needed to gain long-term protection.

Major Risks/Vaccines

Here are many of the common risks and vaccines.