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.
- 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.
PREGNANCY: 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.
NURSING MOTHERS: 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.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideHepatitis: What Puts You at Risk
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