Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that is found worldwide.

What vaccines do I need?

Travelling abroad but unsure on which vaccines you may need? Our highly qualified travel healthcare team are specialists in their field, providing excellent advice and recommendations for every destination.

Read more

Your nearest CityDoc clinic

Find a clinic

An estimated 350 million people are thought to be chronic carriers of the infection and 686,000 people die every year from the complications of hepatitis B infection (WHO data). The countries with the highest prevalence of infection include Africa and East Asia where 5-10% of the population are chronically infected with the disease. High disease prevalence also occurs in the Middle East, Southern and Eastern Europe and the Indian Subcontinent.

  • Next day appointments
    Bookable online with live availability or call our customer service team
  • Travel health specialists
    Clinics regulated by the Care Quality Commission and experienced nurses
  • All vaccines in stock
    Rabies, Hepatitis A and other vaccines in stock & given at your appointment
  • Friendly staff
    Our nurses & pharmacists care for your individual travel health requirements


Hepatitis B is spread through contaminated blood via sexual intercourse, needle sharing, blood transfusions and medical interventions. The virus can also be passed from mother to baby. Tattooing, body piercing and acupuncture are other ways in which the virus may be spread. The virus can survive outside the body for 7 days.


The incubation period for hepatitis B infection is long varying between 60-90 days. Most people do not develop symptoms of hepatitis B infection. If symptoms occur in the acute stage of infection, they consist of fever, nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Jaundice may also occur. A small subset can develop fatal acute liver failure in the acute stage.

The acute illness lasts for about six months and the virus is cleared from the body in the majority of adults.

However, 5% of adults and 30-50% of children aged 6 years and below develop chronic disease, where the virus persists. Chronic infection with hepatitis B is associated with progressive liver disease (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.


There is no treatment available for the acute illness. Treatment for those chronically infected with hepatitis B is aimed at reducing the progression to chronic liver disease (cirrhosis) and preventing liver cancer.


Vaccination is the mainstay of prevention. The vaccine against hepatitis B has been around since 1982 and is part of the routine childhood immunisation programme in many countries around the world.

The hepatitis B vaccine is an inactivated vaccine containing a surface protein from the hepatitis B virus. The vaccine is safe and 95% effective at preventing infection and development of chronic disease.


The hepatitis B vaccine can be given from birth onwards.

It should be given to travellers to endemic or high prevalence countries , especially if they may be at increased risk of exposure through their activities.

The vaccine is also recommended for anyone at risk through their occupation, such as healthcare workers or their lifestyle, such as men who have sex with men.

Adult Schedule

Vaccine Brand Age Method of Administration Recommended Schedule Number of doses
HBVaxPro From 16 years Intramuscular injection to the deltoid muscle 1. Standard-0, 1, 6 months
2. Accelerated-0, 1, 2 and 12 months
1. Standard schedule-3 doses
2. Accelerated schedule-4 doses
Engerix B (20mcg) From 16 years Intramuscular injection to the deltoid muscle 1. Standard-0, 1, 6 months
2. Accelerated-0, 1, 2 and 12 months
3. Ultra-rapid-day 0, day 7 and day 21 and 12 months*
1. Standard schedule-3 doses
2. Accelerated schedule-4 doses
3. Ultra-rapid schedule-4 doses

*The ultra-rapid schedule can only be given to individuals over 16 years of age if there is insufficient time before travel for the accelerated course.

For occupational purposes, the Accelerated or standard schedule should be used.

Children’s Schedule

Vaccine Brand Age Range Method of Administration Recommended Vaccine Schedule Number of Doses
HBVaxPro Paediatric (5mcg) Birth to 15 years Intramuscular Injection to the thigh or deltoid muscle 1. Standard schedule-day 0, 1 month and 6 months
2. Accelerated schedule-day 0, 1 month, 2 months and 12 months
1. Standard schedule-3 doses
2. Accelerated schedule-4 doses
Engerix B (10mcg) Birth to 15 years Intramuscular Injection to the thigh or deltoid muscle 1. Standard schedule-day 0, 1 month and 6 months
2. Accelerated schedule-day 0, 1 month, 2 months and 12 months
1. Standard schedule-3 doses
2. Accelerated schedule-4 doses

Children under 16 years of age-the fastest schedule that can be used is the accelerated schedule.

There may be instances of under 16s requiring adult doses and that this will come down to the discretion of the clinician.

Booster Doses

In travellers, following completion of the full course, immunity is considered to be lifelong. A booster at 5 years is only required if there is high risk travel.

For occupational purposes, a booster is required at 5 years and further doses determined by blood testing.

Hepatitis B vaccine should not be given if:

  • There is a history of previous severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of the components of the vaccine
  • There is an acute illness with a high temperature (greater than 38.5 degrees Celsius).


The hepatitis B vaccine can be given to pregnant women if there is significant risk of exposure. Pregnant women who develop hepatitis B are more likely to have severe infection and the virus is transmitted causing infection in the newborn.

Breast Feeding

There is no evidence of harm when breast feeding mother have received inactivated vaccines. Therefore, the vaccine can be given to breast feeding mothers if there is significant risk of exposure.

Common Side Effects

  • Local reactions at the injection site-pain, swelling, redness.
  • Uncommon side effects include fever, muscle ache and “flu-like” symptoms.

Interactions with Other Vaccines

The hepatitis B vaccine does not interact with other vaccines can can be given at the same time as:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid, including oral typhoid vaccine
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio vaccine
  • Yellow fever
  • Rabies
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • MMR
  • BCG
  • All vaccines administered in the childhood immunisation programme

Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for individuals at higher risk of exposure to hepatitis B virus, particularly those working in healthcare, people traveling to regions with a high prevalence of hepatitis B, and individuals with certain lifestyle or medical risk factors.

The immunity provided by the hepatitis B vaccine can last for at least 20 years. After this initial series, a booster dose may not be routinely needed for most individuals.

For most people, a booster for hepatitis B is not routinely recommended. However, certain high-risk groups may require periodic testing to determine if a booster is needed.

Regions with higher rates of hepatitis B include parts of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Amazon Basin in South America, and the Middle East.

The cost of the hepatitis B vaccine can vary. Typically, there might be an initial fee for the first consultation and then a separate charge for each vaccine dose.

Common side effects include soreness at the injection site and mild fever. Rare side effects can include more serious allergic reactions.

1) Is the hepatitis B vaccine safe?

Hepatitis B vaccine is generally well tolerated and as an inactivated vaccine, it cannot cause infection in the vaccinated individual.

Rarely, suspected neurological reactions to the vaccine, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and demyelinating disease have been reported, but a direct causal relationship with the vaccine has not been established. Recent studies indicate that there is no association between hepatitis B vaccination and the development of multiple sclerosis.

2) What does the vaccine contain?

The vaccine is produced in yeast cells.

  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Sodium dihydrogen phosphate
  • Water for injections
  • aluminium hydroxide

Additionally, HBVaxPro may contain traces of formaldehyde (a preservative) and Borax.

The vaccines do not contain:

  • Egg
  • Thiomersal
  • Latex
  • Gelatin

3) What happens if I do not have time to complete my hepatitis B vaccine course?

It is still worth starting a hepatitis B vaccination course as the course can be completed on return from travel without needing to start again. A full course of hepatitis B vaccines provides longstanding protection with a single booster at 5 years only required in those at high risk of infection.

4) Can I have the vaccine if I am unwell on the day of vaccination?

If you have an illness with a high fever, the the vaccination should be delayed until you are recovered. In minor illnesses without a fever, the vaccination can take place provided the clinician feels this is appropriate.

5) When is blood testing required to check for immunity?

Blood testing for immunity is only required if hepatitis B is given for occupational purposes. This is because there is a higher exposure risk to the infection and satisfactory immune response must be determined. 

6) What does hepatitis B immunity testing involve?

Blood is sent to check Hepatitis B Surface antibody levels. Blood testing should take place 1-4 months after completion of the 3rd dose of Hepatitis B. 

  • If the antibody level is >100mIU/ml, a satisfactory response has occurred and booster dose is required just once at 5 years
  • If antibody  levels are 10-100mIU/ml, an adequate response has occurred, but a further booster is required immediately and again at 5 years.
  • If antibody levels are <10mIU/ml-there has been insufficient immune responses to vaccine and the course needs to be restarted.

7) Can you use a Two dose schedule in children?

Children can be given 2 doses of the adult strength Hepatitis B vaccine, which provides similar effectiveness as the three dose schedule. However, full protection against Hepatitis B is not achieved until after 6 months. At CityDoc, we only offer Engerix B Adult for the 2 dose schedule in children between 11-15 years.

The vaccine brands that can be used for this are:

Vaccine Brand Age Range Dosing schedule Comment
Ambirix 1-15 years Day 0 and 6 months NOT PROVIDED AT CITYDOC CLINICS
Engerix B Adult (20mcg) 11-15 years Day 0 and 6 months Can be provided at CityDoc clinics

Travel Vaccinations

Whether you are going on a honeymoon, trekking or going on a last minute business trip, we can provide you with a comprehensive travel clinic service. Our specialist nurses and pharmacists offer vaccinations for travel to any country in the world, as well as destination specific health advice tailored to your itineraries. Click here for a full list of vaccinations we offer. Please note: Parents or legal guardians will need to directly accompany any child who is being vaccinated and bring along a photo ID for themselves.


Pre-Travel Advice

Our pre-travel consultations are with experienced travel health specialists and pharmacists who will assess the impact of any pre-existing medical conditions along with your vaccine requirements. They will discuss in detail countries at risk, precautions you can take to avoid exposure and how to travel safely. We also highly recommend visiting the government websites which has the latest travel news and advice for every destination.

Read more

Travel health enquiries

For all travel health enquiries, simply contact us below.

Travel Vaccinations

Flu (Influenza) Vaccination

Sexual Health

Find a Clinic