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Hepatitis A Vaccine

The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for unvaccinated travelers over 1 year old.

Available at all Away Clinic locations:

Away Clinic is an Arizona-based travel vaccine provider specializing in hard-to-find vaccines and expert medical advice for international travelers. Vaccines are administered by a registered nurse following CDC guidelines. 

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that primarily affects the liver. The causative agent is the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), which is typically transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or water or through close contact with an infected person. The virus can cause inflammation of the liver, leading to various symptoms and potential complications.

Key points about Hepatitis A include:

  1. Mode of Transmission: Hepatitis A is commonly spread through the fecal-oral route, meaning that the virus is ingested through contaminated food, water, or close personal contact with an infected individual. It is not spread through blood or sexual contact as some other forms of hepatitis are.

  2. Symptoms: The symptoms of Hepatitis A can range from mild to severe and may include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). In many cases, individuals with Hepatitis A recover completely without long-term liver damage.

  3. Acute Illness: Hepatitis A is an acute infection, and while it can cause significant discomfort and illness, it usually does not result in a chronic condition. Once a person recovers from Hepatitis A, they typically develop immunity to the virus.

  4. Prevention: The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. The Hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective in providing immunity against the virus. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, and avoiding the consumption of contaminated food and water are essential preventive measures.

  5. Risk Factors: Individuals at higher risk of contracting Hepatitis A include those who travel to regions with high rates of the infection, men who have sex with men, people who use recreational drugs, and those living in or traveling to areas with poor sanitation.

It's important to note that while Hepatitis A can cause acute illness, it is generally not as severe as some other forms of hepatitis, such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. However, vaccination is still recommended to prevent the spread of the virus and protect individuals from the potential complications of the infection.

About the hepatitis A vaccine

The Hepatitis A vaccine is a safe and effective method for preventing Hepatitis A infection. Here are some key points about the vaccine:

  1. Routine Immunization: The Hepatitis A vaccine has been incorporated into routine immunization schedules in many countries. The hep A vaccine has only been a routine part of childhood immunizations in the U.S. since 2006 so many of our older travelers have not yet been vaccinated against hepatitis A at all.

  2. Safety and Effectiveness: The Hepatitis A vaccine is considered safe and highly effective. It provides robust protection against Hepatitis A infection, reducing the risk of illness and complications associated with the virus. The vaccine has undergone rigorous testing in clinical trials to ensure its safety and efficacy.

  3. Dosing Schedule: For adults, the vaccine is typically administered in two doses, with the second dose given six to twelve months after the first in the U.S.

  4. Side Effects: Like any vaccine, the Hepatitis A vaccine can cause side effects, but they are generally mild and temporary. Common side effects may include soreness at the injection site, mild fever, and fatigue. Severe allergic reactions are extremely rare.

  5. Contraindications and Precautions: While the vaccine is safe for most individuals, there are certain situations where it may not be recommended. Individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions to a previous dose of the vaccine or any of its components may be advised against vaccination. Pregnant women and individuals with a current illness should consult their healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine.

  6. Global Impact: The widespread use of the Hepatitis A vaccine has had a positive impact on public health, reducing the incidence of Hepatitis A infection and related complications globally.

It's important for individuals to consult with their healthcare providers to determine the most appropriate vaccination schedule based on their age, health status, and risk factors. Overall, the Hepatitis A vaccine is a crucial tool in preventing the spread of the virus and protecting individuals from the potential health effects of Hepatitis A infection.

Find out what vaccines you need for your trip

Check out our Safe Travel Guide

Tips for safe travel, travel supplies checklist, travel insurance, travel shopping lists.

Find out what vaccines you need for your trip

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