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How and when should you receive the Hepatitis A vaccine?

How and when should you receive the Hepatitis A vaccine?
in Gastroenterology and GI Surgery

Apr 19, 2022

Vaccinations are the best way to prevent Hepatitis A. it is recommended for all children aged 12 months or even older, for people traveling to certain risky countries and also for people who are at high risk of infection with this virus.The hepatitis vaccine is provided as 2 shots , 6 months apart. This vaccine is also available in combined forms, i.e. containing both hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccine, which can be provided the people who are 18 years or above. This form is provided in 3 shots, over  period of 6 months or as 3 shots over 1 month and a booster shot at 1 year

Hepatitis Vaccination For Children:

Taking vaccine for Hepatitis A is much safer than receiving the disease. However, a vaccine, like any of the medicines, can possibly lead to few side effects.

The 1st dose shall be provided at 12 to 23 months old. Children that are not provided vaccine by 2 years of age could be given the vaccine at a later time.

Hepatitis Vaccination For Children

Hepatitis Vaccination For Travelers:

Hepatitis A vaccine is suggested for healthy people on international travel. They could be of age 12 months or above. The 1st dose of vaccine for Hepatitis A shall be taken as soon considering the travel. The shot called IG or Immune Globulin could be considered additionally besides the vaccine for Hepatitis A for the older adults, people that have chronic liver disease, immune-compromised people or other chronic medical condition who would travel within 2 weeks should definitely opt for the Hep Vaccination.

IG could be given without hepatitis A vaccine to travelers younger than 1 year. This variation can also be given to people who are allergic to a vaccine component or the ones that elect not to take the vaccine.

For others looking for Hepatitis Vaccination:

The vaccine series for Hepatitis A can be taken as soon as an individual is found to be at risk of the infection. These individuals include

  • Men that had or have sexual contacts with other men
  • People taking some illegal drugs in both forms injection and noninjections.
  • Family & caregivers prior to the arrival of the international adoptees
  • Individuals with lifelong chronic liver diseases
  • Individuals being treated with some clotting factor concentrate
  • Individuals working with animals infected with hepatitis A or in a research laboratory of hepatitis A

Some individuals should not be given the vaccine or should wait to get the Hepatitis vaccine:

  • People with severe or life threatening allergic reaction to a prior dose of hepatitis A vaccine shall not take another dose.
  • People with severe or life threatening allergy to some vaccine component shall not be given the vaccine. They should inform their doctor about any severe allergies.
  • People who are severely or moderately ill at the time when the shot is scheduled may also wait until recovery. They should consult their doctor or nurse. Individuals with a mild illness can take the vaccine.
  • Inform your doctor if you have a pregnancy. It has not been determined whether hepatitis A vaccine is safe for pregnant women however, there are no proofs that they are harmful to either unborn babies or pregnant women. If any risk exists, it is anticipated to be very low.
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