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Hepatitis A - vaccine
Alternative namesHepatitis is inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis A vaccine protects you against one type of hepatitis, hepatitis A . The vaccine stimulates your body to produce antibodies against the hepatitis A virus. Note that this vaccine will not protect you from other types of hepatitis. See also immunizations - general overview .
The vaccine, called Havrix or VAQTA, is made from inactivated whole virus of hepatitis A. It is given by an injection in your arm. You should be protected against the disease within two weeks after receiving the first injection.
To ensure complete immunization against the disease, two vaccinations are required. After receiving the first vaccination, children and adults should have a booster vaccination in six to 12 months.
There is also a vaccine for adults called Twinrix that contains both Hepatitis A and B in combination. It reduces the number of needle sticks to achieve immunity to both viruses. It is given in 3 doses.
WHO SHOULD BE IMMUNIZED
People who work or travel in areas with high rates of infection should be vaccinated. These areas include Africa, Asia (except Japan), the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southern America, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean. See the
The vaccine, called Havrix or VAQTA, is made from inactivated whole virus website for specific travel destination information.
If you are traveling to these areas before you are fully immunized (less than 4 weeks after first immunization), you should receive a prophylactic does of immunoglobulin (IG). If you are just a short-term traveler to these areas, you may wish to only receive the immunoglobulin (IG) instead of the vaccine.
This vaccine is mandated in children in Alaska, Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. In addition, the ACIP recommends vaccination in children in California, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. These recommendations are based on the indidence of Hepatitis in these states.Other people who are at higher risk for hepatitis A include:
The possible complications are mild and rarely last longer than a day. The most common side effect of the vaccine is pain at the injection site. Other rare, but possible, side effects include:
Update Date: 12/1/2003D. Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H, Infectious Diseases Division and Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT