Hepatitis A

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    About The Disease

    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. The spread of HAV is usually by close personal contact and sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV.

    Hepatitis A can cause a wide variety of symptoms ranging from mild "flu-like" illness to more serious problems, such as yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), severe stomach pains, and diarrhea, that may require hospital admission.

    A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

    In some cases, hepatitis A causes death. 

    About Hepatitis A Vaccine

    Benefits of the vaccine

    Vaccination is the best way to protect against hepatitis A. People who get hepatitis A vaccine have protection for years against infection with HAV. The vaccine is made from a killed virus and is given as a short in the muscle of the upper arm 9deltoid). Before hepatitis A vaccine was available, only short term protection could be achieved by giving immune globulin (also called ‘gamma globulin" or IG) (see box on back of form).


    Hepatitis A vaccine schedule

    The dose and vaccination schedule vary according to age:

    • For adults 18 years of age: two doses; 6-12 months apart.
    • For children and adolescents 2-18 years of age: three doses; second dose one month from the first; third dose, 5-11 months from the second.
    • Other vaccines may be given at the same time as hepatitis A vaccine.


    Who should get hepatitis A vaccine?

    • Persons 2 years of age and older traveling or working in countries with high rates of hepatitis A, such as those located in Central or South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia (except Japan), Africa, and southern or eastern Europe.
    • Persons who live in comminutes with high rates of hepatitis A; some examples include American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific islander communities and selected religious communities.
    • Men who have sex with men.
    • Persons who use street drugs.
    • Persons with chronic liver disease.


    For additional information, please call (631) 444-4000