Hepatitis A (HAV) Immunizations
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Vaccines are available for long-term prevention of HAV infection in persons one year of age and older. Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
Who should receive the vaccine and when?
All children 12 through 23 months of age should receive two doses which are six month apart.
Who shouldn't receive the vaccine?
- A baby who has ever had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis A vaccine should not get another dose.
- A baby who has a severe (life threatening) allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if your baby have any severe allergies. All hepatitis A vaccines contain alum and some hepatitis A vaccines contain 2-phenoxyethanol.
- A baby who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should probably wait until they recover. Ask your doctor or nurse. Babies with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.
What are the risks from the hepatitis A vaccine?
A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of hepatitis A vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Getting hepatitis A vaccine is much safer than getting the disease.