VACCINE INFORMATION STATEMENT
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Many Vaccine Information Statements are
available in Spanish and other languages.
What You Need to Know
Hojas de información sobre vacunas están
disponibles en español y en muchos otros
• People who are treated with clotting factor
What is hepatitis A?
• People who work with HAV-infected primates or who
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the
work with HAV in research laboratories.
hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of
people with hepatitis A.
• Members of households planning to adopt a child, or
care for a newly arriving adopted child, from a country
It is usually spread by close personal contact and
where hepatitis A is common.
sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing
HAV. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the
Other people might get hepatitis A vaccine in certain
disease to others within the same household.
situations (ask your doctor for more details):
• Unvaccinated children or adolescents in communities
Hepatitis A can cause:
where outbreaks of hepatitis A are occurring.
• “flu-like” illness
• Unvaccinated people who have been exposed to
• jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine)
hepatitis A virus.
• severe stomach pains and diarrhea (children)
• Anyone 1 year of age or older who wants protection
People with hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized
from hepatitis A.
(up to about 1 person in 5).
Hepatitis A vaccine is not licensed for children younger
Adults with hepatitis A are often too ill to work for up to
than 1 year of age.
Sometimes, people die as a result of hepatitis A (about
For children, the first dose should be given at 12
3–6 deaths per 1,000 cases).
through 23 months of age. Children who are not
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A.
vaccinated by 2 years of age can be vaccinated at later
Who should get hepatitis A
For others at risk, the hepatitis A vaccine series may be
vaccine and when?
started whenever a person wishes to be protected or is at
risk of infection.
Some people should be routinely vaccinated with
For travelers, it is best to start the vaccine series at least
hepatitis A vaccine:
one month before traveling. (Some protection may still
• All children between their first and second birthdays
result if the vaccine is given on or closer to the travel
(12 through 23 months of age).
• Anyone 1 year of age and older traveling to or working
in countries with high or intermediate prevalence of
Some people who cannot get the vaccine before
hepatitis A, such as those located in Central or South
traveling, or for whom the vaccine might not be
America, Mexico, Asia (except Japan), Africa, and
effective, can get a shot called immune globulin
eastern Europe. For more information see
(IG). IG gives immediate, temporary protection.
Two doses of the vaccine are needed for lasting
• Children and adolescents 2 through 18 years of age
protection. These doses should be given at least 6
who live in states or communities where routine
vaccination has been implemented because of high
Hepatitis A vaccine may be given at the same time as
• Men who have sex with men.
• People who use street drugs.
• People with chronic liver disease.