Hepatitis A vaccines help to prevent infection caused by the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV).
The virus is found in the stool of people with Hepatitis A, and is usually spread through ingestion of food and water contaminated by faeces, either through poor personal hygiene or poor sanitation. It may also be transmitted through close contact with an infected person.
Hepatitis A infection generally does not show any symptoms in young children. Older children and adults are more likely to have symptoms.
Common symptoms include fever, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), dark urine, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, severe stomach pain and diarrhea.
Who Should Receive the Hepatitis A Vaccine?
It is recommended in individuals (who are at least age 12 months old) travelling to or living in developing countries where Hepatitis A is widespread. For others who are at higher risk of contracting Hepatitis A and wish to protect themselves, consult your doctor for advice.
Common side effects include:
Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.
Rare but serious side effects include:
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
How Is the Hepatitis A Vaccine Given?
It is usually given by injection into a muscle.
It may be given on its own as one shot or in combination with other vaccines (e.g. Hepatitis B) as one shot.
When given on its own, two doses are usually required, one primary dose followed by a booster dose 6 to 18 months after.
When given in combination with Hepatitis B vaccine, two to three doses may be required depending on age. Consult your doctor for more details.