Hepatitis B Vaccination

Psamathe
Posts: 9063
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Postby Psamathe » 11 Oct 2018, 3:23pm

Are these worth having when visiting developing areas of the world (long trips, budget travel/accommodation, etc.)? I'm not visiting red light areas nor injecting illegal drugs.

Many years ago the NHS decided for my travels they would give me a Hep B vaccination but I can't remember how many I had and my medical records have at various points been "lost" so they no longer have any of these vaccinations listed.

Talking to a travel clinic I said "no red light areas, no injectable drugs, etc/" and they said that it was more than that e.g. have a serious accident needing a blood transfusion (or blood products) and you are at risk ...

But they are rather expensive and I'm not a great fan of vaccination (but not a great fan of treatment) and it becomes an impossible balance between need/risk/cost.

What makes it worse is that as much of my medical history has been lost by the NHS, there is no record of any of my early life vaccinations so the travel clinic is saying they have to assume they are now needed and for combined e.g. MMR, I've had Measles, probably had Mumps (never "confirmed") and probably never had rubella - so they are adding/recommending another £45 to/on the list!

Any thoughts (given I suspect there is no "right" answer).

Ian

John100
Posts: 73
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Re: Hepatitis B Vaccination

Postby John100 » 11 Oct 2018, 4:17pm

Hep B worth having although as you age there is a chance that it won't work for you, as the rate of seroconversion ie making you immune to Hep B drops with age. As with all things it is a balance of likelihood of risk, cost etc. Hep B is a nasty illness. All vaccines (imo) are worth having. If your records are lost you would start again as repeat MMR for example doesn't do any harm. People forget illnesses that are vaccinated for because they (the illnesses) are not around and whilst there are other factors for their decline, vaccination shouldn't be forgotten. Smallpox has been eradicated for example largely because of effective vaccination. People who don't get vaccinated do get "herd"protection - because most people are protected, the illness isn't as rife and therefore those who aren't vaccinated have some protection because of that. Not a reason not to vaccinated though.