Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B vaccination
Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. This inflammation can be severe or less severe in form. Around 400 million people worldwide are chronically infected. Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual relations and through blood. Consider blood transfusion in certain countries, used syringes, non-sterile piercing or tattooing. Hepatitis B is also more common in some population groups, In the Netherlands this includes immigrants, men who have sex with men and people with alternating sexual contacts. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer and can cause death.
A number of occupational groups are at risk of hepatitis B infection through blood contact. These include dentists and police officers, as well as tattooists and piercers. Just a small amount of contaminated blood is enough to contract the virus. For information on occupational risk and vaccination, see project vaccination.
Making an appointment
Hepatitis B vaccination consists of three injections in the upper arm, spread over six months. If the vaccination is successful, you will be protected against hepatitis B for life.
For some travellers, both vaccinations (hepatitis A + hepatitis B) are recommended. There is a combined vaccine for this. This is given in a series of 3 doses spread over 6 months.
In the Netherlands, all children born on or after 1 August 2011 are vaccinated against Hepatitis B through the national vaccination programme.