Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Vaccines and Vaccinations in the West Midlands

We provide a full range of Hepatitis B travel vaccinations and medication in the West Midlands

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is caused by a viral infection of the liver by the hepatitis B virus (BHV).

Cases occur all over the world but are most common in East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. of the liver spread by direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. It occurs worldwide with highest rates reported in parts of East Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, the Amazon, southern, eastern and central Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Acute infection may occasionally lead to fulminant hepatic necrosis which is often fatal.

Transmission is via infected body of bodily fluids from one person to another. This can be through vaginal or anal intercourse, sharing of needles and perinatal transmission from mother to child.

At the West Midlands Travel Clinic we can discuss with you the Hepatitis B Vaccines and guide you in the right direction when travelling abroad.

Contact our Clinics View All Vaccine Prices

Would you like to find out if you have immunity to Hepatitis B? We now provide an in-clinic Hepatitis immunity blood test for £49.00

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Vaccination Pricing

£55 Per dose

£165 Per Course of 3

Signs & Symptoms

In the majority of cases of hepatitis B symptoms do not occur.

Symptoms more commonly occur in adults than children and may include:

  • Often asymptomatic
  • Other symptoms, experienced by adults more often are; jaundice, abdominal pain & loss of appetite
  • Untreated infection may lead to liver failure

The Vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccine

Ages (Years) Doses Required Schedule Time before travel Boost required at
2 – 15 3 to 4 (paed) 0, 1, 2months + at 1 year** Up to day before* 5 years
16 – 85 3 to 4 0, 7, 21days + at 1 year** Up to day before* 5 years

*Vaccine most effective if given time to become active. Some immunity will be provided for this vaccine if given up to the day before travel.

** accelerated schedule shown. See Pharmacist for 16-18 years old accelerated schedule.

Hepatits A & Hepatitis B Combined vaccine

Ages (Years) Doses Required Schedule Time before travel Boost required at
16 – 85 3 to 4 0, 7, 21 days, + at 1 year** Up to day before* See specialist pharmacist

*Vaccine most effective if given time to become active. Some immunity will be provided for this vaccine if given up to the day before travel.

**accelerated schedule. Full protection not given until final dose at 1 year. Will give adequate protection if leaving sooner.

How do you catch Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that primarily spreads through contact with infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or other body fluids of an infected person. Here's how hepatitis B can be transmitted:

  1. Sexual contact: Hepatitis B is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) because it can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. The virus can be present in the semen, vaginal fluids, or blood of an infected person and can enter the body through small breaks or tears in the skin or mucous membranes.
  2. Blood-to-blood contact: Hepatitis B can be transmitted through direct contact with infected blood. This can occur through sharing needles or syringes for injecting drugs, using contaminated needles for tattooing or body piercing, or accidental needlestick injuries in healthcare settings. Hepatitis B can also be transmitted through sharing personal items such as razors or toothbrushes that may have blood on them.
  3. Mother-to-child transmission: Pregnant women infected with hepatitis B can pass the virus to their newborn during childbirth. The risk of transmission is higher if the mother is also positive for the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), has a high viral load, or if the newborn comes into contact with the mother's blood or body fluids during delivery.
  4. Occupational exposure: Healthcare workers or individuals in other occupations that involve exposure to blood or bodily fluids are at risk of contracting hepatitis B if they have contact with infected blood or fail to follow proper infection control procedures.
  5. From infected mother to infant: In rare cases, hepatitis B can be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.

It's important to note that hepatitis B is not spread through casual contact like hugging, shaking hands, sharing food or water, or through coughing or sneezing.

Vaccination against hepatitis B is available and is highly effective in preventing infection. Additionally, practicing safe sex, using sterile needles and equipment, and taking precautions to avoid exposure to infected blood can help reduce the risk of hepatitis B transmission. If you suspect you have been exposed to hepatitis B or are at risk, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for testing, vaccination, and appropriate management.

Who is at risk from Hepatitis B?

Several factors can increase the risk of contracting hepatitis B, but certain populations are considered to be at a higher risk. Here are some groups that are more susceptible to hepatitis B infection:

  1. Individuals with unprotected sexual activity: People who engage in unprotected sex, particularly with multiple partners or individuals who have hepatitis B infection, are at an increased risk of contracting the virus.
  2. Injecting drug users: Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug paraphernalia can lead to the transmission of hepatitis B and other blood-borne infections.
  3. Infants born to infected mothers: Babies born to mothers who are infected with hepatitis B are at risk of contracting the virus during childbirth. However, this risk can be significantly reduced through timely vaccination and the administration of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) at birth.
  4. Close contacts of infected individuals: Household or sexual contacts of people with chronic hepatitis B infection are at a higher risk of acquiring the virus through contact with infected blood, semen, or other body fluids.
  5. Healthcare workers: Healthcare professionals who come into contact with blood or body fluids are at an increased risk of exposure to hepatitis B. Proper infection control practices and vaccination can help reduce this risk.
  6. People with multiple sexual partners: Having multiple sexual partners or engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors increases the chances of exposure to hepatitis B.
  7. People with chronic liver disease or impaired immune function: Individuals with pre-existing liver conditions, such as chronic hepatitis C infection or cirrhosis, as well as those with compromised immune systems, are more susceptible to hepatitis B infection.
  8. Travelers to high-risk regions: People traveling to areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis B, such as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, may be at an increased risk of exposure.

It's important to note that anyone can be at risk of hepatitis B, regardless of age, gender, or occupation. Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, healthcare workers, individuals at high risk of infection, and those seeking protection against the virus. Screening and early detection of hepatitis B infection are essential for timely management and reducing the risk of long-term complications.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. The symptoms of hepatitis B can vary from mild to severe, and some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all. Here are the common symptoms associated with acute (short-term) hepatitis B infection:

  1. Fatigue and weakness: Feeling tired and experiencing a lack of energy is a common symptom of hepatitis B.
  2. Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) is a characteristic symptom of liver involvement in hepatitis B. It occurs due to the buildup of bilirubin, a yellow pigment, in the blood.
  3. Loss of appetite: Hepatitis B can cause a decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.
  4. Nausea and vomiting: Many individuals with hepatitis B experience nausea, often accompanied by episodes of vomiting.
  5. Abdominal pain: Some people may experience discomfort or pain in the abdominal area, particularly in the upper right quadrant where the liver is located.
  6. Dark urine: The urine may appear darker than usual, often resembling the color of tea, due to the presence of bilirubin.
  7. Pale-colored stools: Hepatitis B can cause light-colored or clay-colored stools as a result of reduced bile flow from the liver.
  8. Joint pain: Joint pain or muscle aches can occur in some individuals with hepatitis B.
  9. Fever: Mild to moderate fever is common during the acute phase of hepatitis B infection.
  10. Flu-like symptoms: Some people may experience symptoms similar to the flu, including headache, body aches, and a general feeling of being unwell.

It's important to note that symptoms of hepatitis B may not appear immediately after infection. In some cases, symptoms can take several weeks to appear or may not manifest at all. Chronic hepatitis B infection can develop if the virus persists in the body for more than six months, and in such cases, individuals may experience additional symptoms related to ongoing liver inflammation and damage.

If you suspect you have been exposed to hepatitis B or are experiencing symptoms, it's important to seek medical evaluation and testing for proper diagnosis and management.

What are the Hepatitis B Risk Areas?

Hepatitis B risk areas

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