New Last-Minute Vaccination Against Hepatitis
Australian Associated Press (AAP);
In Australia, new vaccine course against hepatitis A and B requires only three weeks for the shots instead of six. According to a survey of over 500 adults in major capital cities who had traveled overseas in the past two years, over two-thirds did not see their physicians until four weeks before they departed. Bernie Hudson, an infectious diseases specialist at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Australia, notes that "ideally, you should see a doctor at least six weeks before traveling; however, with the new schedule, at least three weeks is enough time to receive appropriate protection." The survey showed that Australians were most likely to visit high-risk areas for hepatitis A and B such as Bali, Thailand, and China. The survey also found that more than 33 percent of Australian travelers who went to such locations engaged in activities that put them at risk for hepatitis B. High-risk activities include sexual contact, body piercing, tattooing, and sharing a razor or toothbrush.