Hepatitis A & B Combination Vaccine
What is hepatitis A & B?
Hepatitis A and B are two viruses that affect your liver's ability to function. Hepatitis A is usually spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or water or close contact including sexual relations with someone who is already infected. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person, including contact with objects that could have blood or body fluids on them such as toothbrushes and razors.
The hepatitis A virus can cause a flu-like illness, a yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), along with severe stomach pains and diarrhea. The hepatitis B virus can cause a short-term flu-like illness, or long-term infection that can lead to liver damage, liver cancer or death. Babies and young children infected with hepatitis B are more likely to get this chronic form of the disease.
What is the hepatitis A & B vaccine?
The hepatitis A & B vaccine contains both hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines to prevent these two forms of hepatitis. It is administered either as three doses over a period of six months, or three shots administered over one month with the addition of a booster shot after one year.
Who should get the hepatitis A & B vaccine?
This combination vaccine can be given to people 18 years of age and older, and is recommended for people at an increased risk of getting hepatitis A and B infections.
Who should not get the hepatitis A & B vaccine?
- Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any severe allergies.
- Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the hepatitis A and B combination vaccine should not get another dose.
- Anyone who is moderately ill should wait until they recover.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant.
What are the side effects of the hepatitis A & B vaccine?
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Headache, tiredness, and loss of appetite
Severe problems (rare):
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
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 & B vaccine is available at Walgreens Pharmacy for patients 18 years of age and older.
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). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). October 25, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-a.pdf. Accessed June 2016.
Vaccine Information Statement: Hepatitis B Vaccine (What You Need to Know). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). February 2, 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-b.pdf. Accessed June 2016.
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