Aboriginal people have a higher risk of acquiring new hepatitis B virus infection than non-Aboriginal people. Although hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all non-immune Aboriginal adults, it is not funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
WA Health has commenced a program to provide this vaccine for free in WA for people aged ≥ 20 years of age. Hepatitis B vaccines are already provided free through the NIP for people aged < 20 years of age. All non-immune Aboriginal adults should receive a three-dose schedule of hepatitis B vaccine. Prior to administering the hepatitis B vaccine, providers should order a blood test to determine the hepatitis B status of an individual (the request on the pathology form should be for “chronic hepatitis B”).
Ordering the vaccine:
- Place an order through the ‘ADOLESCENT AND ADULT’ tab on the WA Health vaccine ordering system and select vaccine product ‘Engerix B – 1.0mL – Hep B (Aboriginal) – State’.
- Initial approval is for Dose 1, then providers should place orders for subsequent doses.
- Refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook – Hepatitis B section for adult Engerix-B dosing guidance.
The WA Immunisation Schedule (effective 01/12/2020) has been updated to reflect this change and clarifications regarding the pneumococcal vaccinations. It is available to download.
See also the “Immunisation – Adult” HealthPathway