Hepatitis B is a viral disease that may be transmitted through
activities which result in exchange of blood or blood-derived fluids,
and through sexual activity between an infected and a susceptible
person. The risk to international travelers depends on the prevalence
of hepatitis B in the areas being visited, the extent of potential
contact with infected persons, and the duration of travel.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for high risk travelers.
Current hepatitis B vaccines in the United States are produced through
recombinant DNA technology, and no longer use human plasma. In the
past, several months have been needed to administer the three doses
of hepatitis B vaccine necessary for optimal protection; however,
new research suggests that the vaccine series may be effectively
given over a three-week period in many travelers, provided that
a fourth booster dose is received one year later. Studies suggest
that hepatitis B vaccine provides long-term protection, generally
lasting for more than 10 years. A combined hepatitis A and hepatitis
B vaccine in now available.
If you wish to receive hepatitis B vaccine, please call us for
a clinic appointment.