Hepatitis B Vaccine for Adults, with Consultation
What is Hepatitis B and how is it transmitted?
Hepatitis B is a viral liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus. To address this issue, a Hepatitis B Vaccine is available to boost your immunity against it.
Hepatitis B infections can cause liver inflammation, fever, jaundice, nausea and vomiting. More importantly, it can result in chronic Hepatitis B infection which increases the risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
It is primarily transmitted through sexual, perinatal (mother to foetus) and through the parenteral routes e.g. blood, blood products, and intravenous drug use. Dirty tattoo needles or piercings can also lead to exposure and transmission of the virus. If you have previously received a full course of the Hepatitis B vaccination, only a booster injection will be needed if your Hepatitis antibody levels are low.
Hepatitis is a virus under hepadnaviridae family. Hepatitis virus most commonly causes inflammation of the liver. There are a total 5 strains of Hepatitis virus, Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A and B are preventable through vaccination.
Hepatitis B vaccine is a part of the National Adult Immunisation Schedule by the Ministry of Health, Singapore. For adults aged 18 years or older.
A Hepatitis B antibody blood test is recommended to assess if the Hepatitis B Vaccine is required.
Who needs the Hepatitis B vaccine?
- Individuals of all ages (particularly 18 or younger) who have not been vaccinated
- Individuals with low antibody levels who are at higher risk of infection; i.e. healthcare workers, tattoo artists, frequent hospital attenders, having a close relative with Hepatitis B etc.
- Partners of a Hepatitis B carrier
- Sexually active persons with multiple partners
- Men with sexual contact with other men
- Household contact with Hepatitis B carrier
- Healthcare/public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood/bodily fluids
- Intravenous/Injection drug users
How many doses are required and what is the time schedule for the Hepatitis B vaccine?
- If you have no antibodies,
Doses: 3 doses
Time schedule: 0, 1, 6 months (0 month refers to the day of 1st vaccination)
On the 7th month, it is recommended to do a blood test to determine the presence/level of antibodies.
- If you have very little antibodies/previously vaccinated,
Doses: 1 dose
On the following month, it is recommended to do a blood test to determine the presence/level of antibodies.
Who should not receive the Hepatitis B vaccine?
- Individuals who experience severe allergic reactions from previous vaccination; or
- Allergies to specific vaccine components
- Pregnant women
Engerix® – Hepatitis B
3 doses – $221.49* (inclusive of GST)
Twinrix® – Hepatitis A & B
3 doses – $433.35 (inclusive of GST)
More info from:
Ministry of Health Singapore: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/48/HepatitisB
Mayo Clinic USA: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-b/symptoms-causes/syc-20366802