Hepatitis A Vaccine
Hepatitis A vaccine
Getting the hep A vaccine, and using other preventive measures will help one to avoid hepatitis A infection. Currently there are no standard treatments for hepatitis A. Usually the body's immune system will clear the virus on its own.
Who should consider a hepatitis A vaccine?
Travelers, children over the age of one, those with clotting factor disorders, medical-lab workers, men who are sexually active with men, illicit drug users, and anyone who desires to protect him- or herself should consider being vaccinated against hepatitis A.
How does the hepatitis A vaccine work?
An inactive version of the hepatitis A virus is injected under the skin in order to build antibodies against the virus.
How often do I need to be vaccinated? How long does the vaccine last?
The vaccine requires two shots given six months apart, and is sufficient for long-term protection from the virus. A shot of IG ( immunoglobulin) can provide limited protection in emergency situations or before visiting endemic areas, or until the vaccine has taken effect.
How effective is the hepatitis A vaccine?
When administered correctly, the hep A vaccine has a 95-100% success rate.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects, if present, should only last for 1-2 days and may include the following: localized tenderness around injection site, fatigue, headache, and loss of appetite.
Is there anyone who should not get the hepatitis A vaccine?
Women who are pregnant or nursing, patients with latex allergies, and patients who are moderately to severely ill should not get the hepatitis A vaccine. Patients who experienced a severe allergic reaction to the initial dosage should not receive second dose.
Which medications are used in the hepatitis A vaccine?
Havrix® (Glaxo Smith Kline) and Vaqta® (Merck) are two products that you may receive. Havrix® contains preservatives, while Vaqta® contains no preservatives. In addition, a combination vaccine is available for both hepatitis A and B protection; the name of this vaccine is Twinrix®.
How much does the hepatitis A vaccine cost?
Insurance sometimes covers the hepatitis A vaccine, especially for at-risk patients. Without insurance, estimated charges are $60-315 dependent upon geographical location as well as consultation and administering fees. The fees for the combination vaccine Twinix® total approximately $330-$700.