Public Health England (PHE) has agreed to accelerate the reintroduction of hepatitis B vaccine for travellers. The reintroduction will be phased, and the vaccine will be made available to all priority groups. This follows a previous shortage of the vaccine in the UK, during which time health professionals were advised to consider alternative vaccines. Combined hepatitis A/B vaccine continues to be available and is the preferred first line choice for travellers.
As the risk for travellers of infection with hepatitis B is low, risk is only increased by taking part in activities that put them at risk of exposures in countries where the virus is more common. Transmission requires exposure to blood, semen or vaginal fluids of a person infected or carrying hepatitis B virus. Travellers who believe they may have been exposed to hepatitis B risk should urgently seek advice from a healthcare provider.