What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of persons with hepatitis A. It is usually spread by close personal contact or by eating food or drinking water containing HAV. Hepatitis A cause flu-like illness, jaundice, severe stomach pains and diarrhea. People with hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to other. Sometimes people die as a result of hepatitis A /about 3-5 deaths per 1 000 cases/.
Who should get hepatitis A vaccine and when?
Some people should be routinely vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine:
- people older then 12 months traveling or working in countries with high or intermmediate prevalence of hepatitis A /Central and South America/, Mexico, Asia /except Japan/, Africa and eastern Europe
- children and adolescents who live in states or communities where rutine vaccination has been imlemented because of high disease incidence.
Other people might get hepatitis A vaccine in special situations:
- children and adolescents in communities where outbreaks of hepatitis are occuring
Hepatitis A vaccine is not licenced for children younger than 1 year of age.
For children the first dose should be given at 12-23 months of age.
For travelers, the vaccine series should start at least one month before traveling to provide best protection.
For others the hepatitis A vaccine series may be started whenever a person is at risk of infection.
Hepatitis A vaccine is a vaccine against the hepatitis A virus. The vaccine protects against the virus in more than 95% of cases and provides protection from the virus for at least ten years. The vaccine contains inactivated Hepatitis A virus providing active immunity against a future infection. Two doses of vaccine at least 6 months apart are needed for lasting protection.
In Czech republic are available these vaccines:
- Avaxim - against HAV for people older than 2 years. Booster dose is recommended 6-18 months after 1st shot .
- Havrix and Havrix Junior - against HAV for adults older than 16, JUNIOR for children at 1-15 years of age. 6-12 months after 1st dose booster dose is recommended.
- Twinrix ADULT and Twinrix PAEDIATRIC - against HAV and HBV for adults older than 16 years, PEDIATRIC for children at 1-15 years of age. Regular 3-doses series / 1st dose - now, 2nd dose 1 month after the first one, 3rd dose 6 months after the first dose/
Rapid schema for adults / 3 doses on day 0, than 7 and 21 days later and 4th dose 12 months after the first one/.
Who should not get hepatitis A vaccine:
- anyone who has allergy to any component of vaccine
- anyone who has had a life threatening allergic reaction to previous dose of hepatitis A vaccine
- anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should wait untill he recover
Hepatitis A vaccine risks:
- redness or swelling or pain where shot was given
- sometimes headache or fever or fatique or diarrhea
- extremely rare pain of joints or muscles, allergic reaction
What if there is a severe reaction:
- What should I look for?
Any unusual condition, such as high fever or behavior changes. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness.
- What should I do?
Call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away