Hepatitis B vaccination

For complete and probably life-long protection against Hepatitis B, you will need to have three vaccination shots. One month after the first vaccination, it will be time to get the second shot. The third and final shot comes half a year later. After three shots, you will be protected against Hepatitis B for the rest of your life. The vaccination is free and easy to get via the GGD or STI clinic.

First vaccination

When you get the first shot, a blood test will be done. The test will show whether or not you have ever been exposed to Hepatitis B and, if so, whether or not the infection is chronic.

  • If it turns out that you had Hepatitis B in the past but the infection was cured on its own, you will not need to receive any further vaccination shots. 
  • If you are a chronic carrier of Hepatitis B, you will be referred to a doctor. Your doctor will discuss with you the possibility of additional monitoring and whether you need treatment.

There is a special vaccine that protects against both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A: Twinrix. Ask about that when you go to the GGD for your Hepatitis B vaccination. You will only need to pay for the extra cost of the Hepatitis A vaccination vaccination

Test result and second vaccination

One month after the first vaccination, you will go back for a second shot. At that time, you will hear the results of the blood test.  

  • The vaccine is safe and effective. 
  • Normally you won't experience any side effects, although there might be some soreness, redness and/or stiffness where you had the shot. Those are common with any vaccination.

Third vaccination

Half a year after the first vaccination, you will go back for your third shot. 

  • After three vaccinations, 95 out of 100 people are fully protected against Hepatitis B – probably for the rest of their life. 
  • People with HIV or Hepatitis C or people who are 50 or older have more chance of not being fully protected after three shots.   

Titre determination: test your level of protection

  • To be certain that you are sufficiently protected, you can have a “titre test” done four weeks after your third vaccination. Unfortunately, a titre test is not free; it normally costs between €20 and €30.
  • A titre test measures the number of antibodies in your blood after the vaccination. If the amount of antibodies – and thus the level of protection against Hepatitis B – is too low, you will be offered a second series of shots. 

Didn't complete the series?

If you did not manage to complete the whole series of three vaccinations within a half year, it is still a good idea to finish the series. Even with somewhat longer breaks between the shots, you can still successfully finish the series. The time between the shots is not important. What is really important is that you get all three shots. It is also possible to get the three shots in different cities.

Free and anonymous vaccination

These days, all gay and bisexual men can get vaccinated for free at the GGD. Have you not been vaccinated yet? In that case, consult the GGD in your neighbourhood.

  • You can get the vaccination anonymously. That means you don't have to give your name and address to make an appointment, although you do have to give your telephone number so that you can be reached. Naturally, your personal information will be treated as confidential.
  • If you get the vaccination from your own doctor or from the Traveller's Advice and Vaccination Office at the GGD, you will need to pay the normal price. 
  • Will you be visiting the STI clinic to get tested for STIs? The STI clinic also offers the free Hepatitis B vaccination directly to men who have sex with men. 

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Your personalised advice

Preventing Hepatitis B

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