Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contracting hepatitis B (HB), a severe blood-borne vaccine-preventable disease, caused by HB virus (HBV) infection. Low HB vaccine (HepB) coverage has resulted in suboptimal protection and high HBV infection rates in South African HCWs. Studies from Africa have identified cost; unavailability/lack of access to HepB; and lack of awareness/knowledge of HB and HepB, as barriers to HCW uptake. Studies from Europe show little difference in HepB coverage between countries mandating versus recommending HepB. Providing easy and sustained access to free HepB to student HCWs, together with education about HB and HepB, are recommended to create demand for HepB. Only if this fails should mandatory vaccination be considered.