Hepatitis A Immunizations

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A (HAV) virus.  Hepatitis A is most commonly transmitted from contact with objects, food, or drinking water contaminated by the feces or stool from an infected person.  

A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

Hepatitis A Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of Hepatitis A can be mistaken for influenza and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Diarrhea
Many people with Hepatitis A have no symptoms but can still spread the virus.

Hepatitis A Immunization Recommendations  

Hepatitis A can be prevented by immunization and protects against the virus in more than 95% of cases.  Two doses of the vaccine are needed for lasting protection and are given 6-18 months apart.

Protection against Hepatitis A begins approximately two to four weeks after the first injection.  A second injection results in long-term protection.

Immunization is recommended for women who:

  • Have chronic or long-term liver disease
  • Are household members or caregivers of a person infected with Hepatitis A
  • Have clotting-factor disorders, such as hemophilia
  • Travel to or live in countries where Hepatitis A is common.
  • Have sexual contact with someone who has Hepatitis A
  • Use certain illegal drugs, whether injected or not
  • Work with Hepatitis A virus in a research laboratory or with animals infected with the virus.
  • Simply wish to be protected from the disease whether they have risk factors or not

Hepatitis A Links & Resources  

The links provided below offer more information about Hepatitis A and Hepatitis A immunizations.

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