What causes hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected through:
- Blood, vomit, saliva, urine, faeces, sweat, semen / vaginal fluid and pus
- Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments
Who should have the hepatitis B vaccine?
In the UK, vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for -
- People from or travelling to countries where hepatitis B is prevalent.
- Health workers who regularly vaccinate, take blood, or come into contact with body fluids.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The hepatitis B vaccine costs £48 per dose. There are 3 doses of vaccine needed to complete the treatment.
How our hepatitis B vaccination service works
Book online or visit your local LloydsPharmacy.
During your appointment one of our pharmacists will ask you a few questions to make sure the vaccine is right for you.
If suitable you will be given the vaccination in your local store.
The vaccine consists of three separate injections given on three separate occasions at zero, one month and six months.
Frequently asked questions
What is acute hepatitis B?
Acute hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-coloured bowel movements), and pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.
What is chronic hepatitis B?
Chronic hepatitis B infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Most people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. Chronically infected people can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they do not feel or look sick themselves.
How does the hepatitis B vaccine work?
The vaccine stimulates the body's immune system to fight a possible hepatitis B infection without causing the disease itself. It cannot protect you from hepatitis B if you are already infected. It also cannot protect you against any other type of liver infection, or other types of hepatitis.
How effective is the hepatitis B vaccine?
Three doses of the vaccine provides 90% protection against hepatitis B for at least 5 years. 4 weeks after completing the course of 3 injections you may wish to undergo a blood test to check that you are immune.
Can the hepatitis B vaccine be given at any age?
The hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for people aged 16 years and older.
What are the hepatitis B vaccine side effects?
Most people experience no side effects from the hepatitis B vaccine. However, you may experience pain, swelling or reddening of the skin at the injection site, fatigue, headache, mild fever, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite and diarrhoea.
Risk of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
All LloydsPharmacy staff who provide this service are trained to manage anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include fainting, shortness of breath, falling blood pressure and swelling of the face and neck. Anaphylaxis is extremely rare after receiving the injection.