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Hepatitis A Vaccine (Havrix, Vaqta): Side Effects & Dosage

What is hepatitis A vaccine? What are the uses for hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix, Vaqta) is used to prevent hepatitis A, a type of liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with food, drinks, or objects which have been contaminated by feces or stool of an HAV-infected person. Hepatitis A infection can be mild with no symptoms or a serious illness that can rarely cause liver failure and death. Getting vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus is the best way to prevent these problems.

The hepatitis A vaccine does not cause hepatitis because it does not contain the live virus. It contains inactivated hepatitis A virus. The vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies, which are proteins that will fight and kill the virus and prevent hepatitis A infection.

The hepatitis A vaccine is used for the prevention of disease caused by hepatitis A virus in persons 12 months of age and older. The primary dose should be given at least 2 weeks prior to expected exposure to HAV.

Hepatitis A vaccine was approved in 2005.

What brand names are available for hepatitis A vaccine?

Havrix, Vaqta

Is hepatitis A vaccine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for hepatitis A vaccine?


What are the side effects of hepatitis A vaccine?

Mild side effects include:

Other reported side effects include:


Hepatitis A is…
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What is the dosage for hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine is administered by injection into the muscle of the upper arm. Two separate shots of 0.5 ml for children and 1 ml for adults are required and should be given 6 to 12 months apart (Havrix) or 6 to 18 months apart (Vaqta). Hepatitis A vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

  • Children should be vaccinated at 12 through 23 months of age.
  • Alternatively, anyone over the age of 12 months who wishes to be protected from the hepatitis A virus can be vaccinated at any time.
  • Travelers are advised to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travelling.

Which drugs or supplements interact with hepatitis A vaccine?

  • People with a weak immune system may not fully benefit from the vaccine.
  • Some medications may decrease the effectiveness of the hepatitis A vaccine. Examples include fingolimod (Gilenya), belimumab (Benlysta), anakinra (Kineret), adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), antineoplastic agents (anti-cancer medications), and other drugs that suppress the immune system.
  • Cancer patient's receiving treatment with anti-cancer medications and those taking immunosuppressant medications should ask their doctor or pharmacist if the hepatitis A vaccine is right for them.

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Is hepatitis A vaccine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate or well-controlled trials of hepatitis A vaccine use in pregnant women. Therefore, hepatitis A vaccine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

It is not known if the hepatitis A vaccine is excreted into human milk after administration to the mother. The manufacturer recommends caution when given it to nursing mothers.

What else should I know about hepatitis A vaccine?

What preparations of hepatitis A vaccine are available?

Solution for administration by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

How should I keep hepatitis A vaccine stored?

Hepatitis A vaccine should be stored in the refrigerator, between 36 2 C to 8 C (36 F and 46 F).

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