Immunisation against hepatitis A
The infectious hepatitis A virus that causes inflammation of the liver occurs worldwide and there is a higher risk of coming into contact with it in countries in which standards of hygiene are lower than in Austria.
However, immunisation can be recommended to anyone who wishes to protect themselves and their family against infection, particularly special risk groups, such as persons travelling to countries where hygiene is a problem, and persons working in medical institutions, nursery schools, the food industry, kitchen and cleaning personnel and similar groups.
- Initial immunisation - administration of two doses required
- Boosters every 10 years
Immunisation against hepatitis B
The hepatitis B virus also causes liver inflammation. It is transmitted in blood and other body fluids (such as semen). There is a particularly high risk of infection through sexual intercourse. In contrast with hepatitis A, hepatitis B is a chronic disorder that can lead to permanent liver damage.
The combined hepatitis A and B vaccine is given as a course of three injections, whereby the second dose is administered 1 month after the first, and the third 6 months after the first, prior to the departure of the individual in question. The vaccine is very effective and its tolerability is very good.
According to the information currently available, the vaccine is effective against hepatitis A for 10 years and against hepatitis B for 5 years. The most recent immunisation status of an individual can be determined by means of antibody testing.
Rabies carried by animals, which can be transmitted to humans by bites or in saliva, has been almost eradicated in Austria. As a rule, human patients are thus only immunised against rabies after they have been in contact with animals that are suspected of carrying the disease.
However, there is an immunisation programme available to persons at increased risk, such as veterinary surgeons, hunters, laboratory personnel working with animals, people travelling to certain countries and people working with aid organisations.
Tuberculosis is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. Thanks to improvements in social and hygiene conditions and the introduction of effective medications, it has proved possible to massively decrease the rates of tuberculosis in central Europe. However, it is still a significant problem in eastern Europe and third world countries and there is still a risk that it could be reintroduced from these countries.
Immunisation against tuberculosis is no longer part of the general immunisation programme in Austria. It is recommended only for persons who are exposed to an increased risk of infection.