Hepatitis B Virus

Vaccination programmes are made available to employees at risk from harmful bacteria and viruses in the workplace.

Hepatitis B is a serious viral infection that attacks the liver. It is an infectious disease which can cause severe liver damage and liver cancer. The virus is transmitted through infected blood and body fluids. It is almost entirely preventable by an employee receiving a full vaccination course. Hepatitis B vaccination is offered on request to civil servants at risk of exposure to blood or body fluids in the workplace.

The immunisation course usually involves three injections over a six month period, comprising an initial injection, a further injection one month later and then a final injection five months later (injections at 0,1 and 6 months). This is followed by a blood test a few weeks later to check the level of immunity following the course of injections.

For prison officers / prison administration and support officers (PASOs), an accelerated Hepatitis B programme is used that differs from the above. This involves an initial injection followed by three further injections either at one week, three weeks and one year (0, 7, 28, 365 days), or one month, two months and one year (0, 1, 2, 12 months). Again, this is followed by a blood test six weeks later to check the level of immunity following the course of injections whereby low immunity results may require further vaccination(s).