Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B Information

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause long lasting liver damage, including liver cancer. It can be contracted through exposure to blood or other bodily fluids from another infected person.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to help protect yourself from hepatitis B.

The hepatitis B vaccination can be administered by itself, or in combination with other vaccinations such as hepatitis A. For adults, it is generally a 3-course dose, administered across a 6 month period. The type of vaccination and number of doses you require will be determined by your immuniser after review of your circumstance and vaccination history.

Who is recommended to receive a hepatitis B vaccination?

  • Infants
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People who are immunocompromised, including people:
    • With HIV
    • With severely impaired renal function
    • On dialysis
    • Before solid organ transplant
    • After haematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • People with medical risk factors, including:
    • People with hepatitis C
    • People with chronic liver disease
    • Preterm and low-birthweight infants
    • People who receive blood products
    • People with developmental disabilities
  • People whose occupation increases their risk of acquiring hepatitis B, including:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Police, members of the armed forces, emergency services staff and staff of correctional facilities
    • Staff of facilities caring for people with developmental disabilities
    • Funeral worker and embalmers
    • Tattooists and body-piercers
  • Travellers to hepatitis B–endemic areas who may be at increased risk
  • People whose circumstances increase their risk of acquiring hepatitis B, including:
    • Infants born to mothers who are hepatitis B surface antigen–positive
    • Household or other close contacts of people with hepatitis B
    • Sexual contacts of people with hepatitis B
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Migrants from hepatitis B–endemic countries
    • People who inject drugs
    • Inmates of correctional facilities
    • Sex industry workers

Who is eligible for a free hepatitis B vaccination?

The Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free hepatitis B vaccines to the following eligible Medicare card holders:

  • Infants within 7 days of birth (not available in pharmacy)
  • Children aged 2 months, 4 months and 6 months (not available in pharmacy)
  • People aged up to 20 years who did not receive hepatitis B as part of their childhood vaccinations
  • Refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age who did not receive this vaccination in childhood

Please note, NIP vaccines can be limited, and not all pharmacies or pharmacist immunisers will have access to these free vaccines at the time of your appointment.

If you believe you may be eligible for a free vaccine, it is recommended that you speak with your pharmacist prior to making your appointment to confirm availability of the free vaccine.

If you do not meet the NIP eligibility, or the pharmacy does not have the free vaccines available at the pharmacy, they will discuss your options with you.

For more information on the Hepatitis B vaccination please click here.

We may disclose your personal information to third parties for a purpose directly related to your vaccine administration. This includes (but is not limited to) disclosure of your personal information to the Australian Immunisation Register, Medicare, Pharmacy Programs Administrator, medical personnel who are the service providers of the immunisation, other third parties as required by law. We may additionally use and disclose your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy which can be found here.

General information only. This information does not replace the information provided by your healthcare professional. Information current as at date of publishing. Report any errors to [email protected]