Hepatitis A is one of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation affecting your liver's ability to function. It's usually spread through ingesting contaminated food or water or close contact (including sexual relations) with someone who is already infected. Symptoms of hepatitis A include flu-like illness, jaundice, stomach cramping and diarrhea. Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent infection and is safe and effective. The vaccine, given in two doses six months apart, is injected into the arm or thigh muscle. Both shots are needed for long-term protection.
The safety of hepatitis A vaccine for pregnant women hasn't been determined. But there's no evidence that it's harmful to either pregnant women or their unborn babies. The risk, if any, is thought to be very low.
Severe problems (rare):
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease pain and reduce fever.
It's extremely rare for these vaccines to cause serious harm or death. If the person getting the vaccine has a serious reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
The hepatitis A vaccine is available at:
Healthcare Clinic for patients aged 7+.
Walgreens Pharmacy. Ages vary by state.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines for more vaccine information.
Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation, 2015.
Vaccine Information Statement: Hepatitis A Vaccine (What You Need to Know) October 25, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-a.html. Accessed April 2016.
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Vaccine subject to availability. Age, state, and health related restrictions apply.