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Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Havrix, Havrix Pediatric, Vaqta, Vaqta Pediatric
Hepatitis A is a serious disease of the liver that can cause death. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), and is spread most often through infected food or water. Hepatitis A may also be spread by close person-to-person contact with infected persons (such as between persons living in the same household). Although some infected persons do not appear to be sick, they are still able to spread the virus to others.
Hepatitis A is less common in the U.S. and other areas of the world that have a higher level of sanitation and good water and sewage (waste) systems. However, it is a significant health problem in parts of the world that do not have such systems. If you are traveling to certain countries or remote (out-of-the-way) areas, hepatitis A vaccine will help protect you from hepatitis A disease.
It is recommended that adults and children 12 months of age and older to be vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine when traveling to the following parts of the world:
- Asia (except Japan).
- Parts of the Caribbean.
- Central and South America.
- Eastern Europe.
- The Mediterranean basin.
- The Middle East.
Immunization against hepatitis A disease is also recommended for adults and children 12 months of age and older who live in areas that have a high rate of hepatitis A disease or who may be at increased risk of infection from hepatitis A virus. These persons include:
- Military personnel.
- Persons living in or moving to areas that have a high rate of HAV infection.
- Persons who may be exposed to the hepatitis A virus repeatedly due to a high rate of hepatitis A disease, such as Alaskan Eskimos and Native Americans.
- Persons engaging in high-risk sexual activity, such as homosexual and bisexual males.
- Persons who use illegal injection drugs.
- Persons living in a community experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A.
- Persons working in facilities for the mentally retarded.
- Employees of child day-care centers.
- Persons who work with hepatitis A virus in the laboratory.
- Persons who handle primate animals.
- Persons with hemophilia.
- Food handlers.
- Persons with chronic liver disease.
This vaccine is to be given only by or under the supervision of a doctor.
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A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this vaccine. This vaccine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
This vaccine is usually given as 2 doses. After the first dose, the Havrix® booster dose is given anytime between 6 to 12 months later, while the Vaqta® booster dose is given anytime between 6 to 18 months later, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
In deciding to use a vaccine, the risks of taking the vaccine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this vaccine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hepatitis A vaccine in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in infants younger than 12 months of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hepatitis A vaccine in the elderly.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to neomycin—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Bleeding problems (e.g., hemophilia)—Use with caution. May have an increased risk of bleeding at the injection site.
- Liver disease or
- Weak immune system from a disease or medicine—May not work as well in patients with these conditions.
- Severe illness with fever—Your dose may need to be given at a later time.
It is very important that you or your child return to your doctor's office at the right time for the second dose. Be sure to notify your doctor of any unwanted effects that occur after you or your child receive this vaccine.
This vaccine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, swelling of the tongue and throat, or trouble breathing after you get the injection.
Tell your doctor if you or your child are allergic to latex. The needle cover and the rubber plunger of the prefilled syringe contain dry natural latex rubber, which may cause an allergic reaction in people with a latex allergy.
This vaccine may not protect you against hepatitis A infection if you are already infected with the virus at the time you receive the shot.