Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. The virus is highly contagious and is transmitted from person to person through blood, body fluids, sexual contact and blood substitutes. Many hepatitis B virus infections are asymptomatic or cause only mild symptoms and are therefore often not detected in adults. In 10% of those infected, there are serious consequences of chronic infection, such as liver cirrhosis ("scarring" of the liver) and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
If you are planning a trip to North America, Australia, Central Africa or South-East Asia, you should get vaccinated, as the frequency of chronically infected people is highest here. This is especially true if risk factors are present, for example close contact with the local population, possible sexual contact, travel abroad for the purpose of medical procedures (e.g. dental treatment, cosmetic surgery), dialysis treatment while travelling, a long-term stay in countries with limited medical care, tattoos, piercings or even an occupational risk.
The hepatitis B vaccination is an inactivated vaccine and is often administered in combination with hepatitis A.
Basic immunisation consists of three vaccinations within 6 months. Complete protection only exists after the third vaccination. If you are in a hurry due to a spontaneous trip, there is also a rapid vaccination schedule.
Routine booster vaccinations against hepatitis B are not provided according to the STIKO. A booster vaccination is only recommended in case of special risk.
In general, the vaccination is very well tolerated. However, 10% of those vaccinated experience short-term disturbances in their general condition such as headaches or fatigue.
To find out which vaccinations are useful for your planned trip, simply make an appointment for a travel medicine consultation at one of our Avi Medical practices and discuss with our medical team. The team will tell you what to look out for so that you can travel safely and relaxed on your next trip.