Hepatitis B Vaccinations
Hepatitis means ‘inflammation of the liver’. Hepatitis B (also referred to as hep B) is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is a viral infection that can lead to serious illness or death. The virus is found in blood and, to a lesser degree, in body fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions.
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis B infection and a course of vaccination is recommended for anyone in a high-risk group including:
- healthcare workers;
- emergency services workers;
- members of the police force or armed forces;
- workers in the sex industry; and
- workers who come into regular contact with blood or tissue such as:
- funeral workers,
- other people who come into regular contact with human tissue, blood or body fluids or used needles or syringes
VaxWorks can provide hepatitis B vaccination services in all capital cities through either our office in Brisbane or a partner occupational health clinic in other states.
VaxWorks will also arrange any necessary pathology through our network of partner pathology collection centres.
Pre-vaccination serology may not be necessary in all situations but can be an effective way of not only reducing costs but also preventing employees from receiving unnecessary vaccinations due to past vaccination or illness. As the rate of non-response to hepatitis B vaccine is quite low (approximately 1%), it is not always necessary nor recommended that staff have pathology to check if they are immune to hepatitis B but in some circumstances it is extremely important to be able to effectively identify individuals who remain at risk of infection and be able to put in place strategies to increase the chances of this individual sero-converting to the vaccine.
Once VaxWorks has been advised that an employee requires vaccination, we will:
- Conduct a search on the Australian Immunisation Register to determine the employee’s vaccination history;
- Contact the employee to provide them with a pathology request form and advise them to attend a specimen collection centre to have their pre-vaccination serology completed.
- Once the pathology results have been provided by our pathology partner, we would once again contact the employee to advise them that they either:
- Do not need to get vaccinated as they are already immune; or
- Attend a nominated clinic to begin their course of vaccines.
- Once they commence their course of vaccines, they will be sent reminder emails to return for subsequent doses as well as their post-vaccination serology.
All vaccination records and pathology results will be stored in our clinical software and vaccination records uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register.
Should any non-responders to the hepatitis B vaccine be identified, VaxWorks will work collaboratively with the vaccine service provider to develop strategies that are likely to result in the employee responding to the vaccine. The costs for this are not part of this proposal as the strategies are often tailored to specific individuals, however, we will provide an individualised quote on an as needs basis.