Vaccines for Hepatitis A and B

There is a Vaccine which is Hepatitis A Inactivated and Hepatitis B recombinant vaccine. It is branded as Twinrix. It is a vaccine which gives active immunity from both hepatitis A and B viruses. It is provided in a series of three injections on the same schedule as it is for a hepatitis B vaccine. A first dose which is followed by other doses at one month and six months. It may also be provided in four doses, with initial dose followed by other doses at seven days, twenty-one – thirty days and twelve months.

Vaccines for Hepatitis

Why to use Hepatitis Vaccinations?

The combo vaccine prevents both Hepatitis A virus or HAV and Hepatitis B virus or HBV infections with merely 1 series of injections. People usually get the vaccines together rather than separate. FDA of US has approved the use of it for only those who are 18 or above who are at the risk of infections with HAV & HBV. This includes people who-

  • Would travel to regions with moderate-high rates of HAV & HBV. This includes Africa, Caribbean, South America, Central America, Mexico, South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Southern Europe.
  • Have long run chronic liver disease
  • Use illegal injection drugs
  • Have anal contact with sex partner
  • Work in atmosphere that exposes them to virus i.e. some lab workers, people that give emergency medical support and day care providers
  • Have clotting factor disorder and receive a blood product

The efficiency of Hepatitis Vaccinations:

In the clinical trials, a month post the last dose, 100% people were found to be immune to Hepatitis A and 99.7% people were immune from Hepatitis B. However, in practice, the immunity may not achieve such levels. Hepatitis B vaccines usually do not give immunity to over 95% – 97% people.

It is thought that immunity to Hepatitis B virus is lifelong. Vaccine for Hepatitis A is effective for at least 25 years among adults and 14 years among children.

Common side effects of Hepatitis x Vaccine are:

  • Headache
  • Pain at injection site
  • Fatigue

It should not be provided to the people allergic to the contents of the vaccine.

To seek best protection prior to travel , one requires 2 doses of the hepatitis vaccine prior to departure. However, if one gets only one dose, they should consider getting merely the hepatitis A vaccine in place of one shot of the combination vaccine. It can give better protection from hepatitis A.