Vaccines recommended for your Destination

Here you can find out which vaccinations are requiring or recommended for the areas you'll be visiting.

Hepatitis A Immunization

on 18 February 2021

What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a virus affecting the liver. It usually spreads through contaminated food or water. Unlike other forms of hepatitis, A cannot become a chronic infection.
Symptoms often appear two to six weeks after exposure. This means a traveler can visit a country and return not knowing they’re infected.

Some common hepatitis A symptoms include:
• Fatigue
• Low Appetite
• Stomach Pain and Nausea
• Jaundice
These will persist for a few weeks, severe cases can last months. Death is rare.

How Does Hepatitis A Spread?
Contaminated food or water is the most common source of hepatitis A infection. Contamination can happen at any point in the food growing, processing or cooking process. Travelers are at an increased risk. Take extra precautions in developing countries with poor sanitary conditions.
It is possible for the disease to spread through close contact with an infected person. This includes sex or caring for an infected person.
Vaccination is the best form of protection.

Who should have the hepatitis A vaccine?
People usually advised to have the hepatitis A vaccine include:
• close contacts of someone with hepatitis A
• people planning to travel to or live in parts of the world where hepatitis A is widespread, particularly if sanitation and food hygiene are expected to be poor
• people with any type of long-term liver disease
• men who have sex with other men
• people who inject illegal drugs
• people who may be exposed to hepatitis A through their job – this includes sewage workers, people who work for organizations where levels of personal hygiene may be poor, such as a homeless shelter, and people working with monkeys, apes and gorillas

What can travelers do to prevent hepatitis A?

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against hepatitis A. The hepatitis A vaccine is very effective and has been a routine childhood vaccine since 1996. The vaccine is recommended for international travelers 6 months of age or older going to countries where hepatitis A infection is common. Check if hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for your destination.
Hepatitis A vaccine is given in two or three doses. If your plans don’t allow you to get all doses before your trip, get at least 1 dose, as soon as possible before you travel.
Infants 6 to 11 months old should be vaccinated when protection against hepatitis A is recommended for the destination. This dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.
Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or 6 months of age or younger should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the best option for you.


Last Updated: 12 April 2022
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