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Hepatitis A Vaccine For Children


The hepatitis A vaccine

is an injection that helps protect your child from the virus that causes hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. The virus is usually spread by person-to-person contact or through food and liquid contaminated with the virus. The vaccine is given in 2 doses. The second dose is given at least 6 months after the first. The hepatitis A vaccine can be given with other vaccines.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child has signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing, hives, or wheezing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has a high fever or any behavior changes that concern you.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about the hepatitis A vaccine.

Children who should get the hepatitis A vaccine:

The vaccine is usually given when children are 12 to 23 months, but older children can also receive the vaccine.

  • Your adolescent should get the vaccine if:
    • He is a male who has sex with other males
    • He uses illegal drugs
  • Your child or adolescent should get the vaccine if:
    • He will be traveling to an area where hepatitis A is common
    • He has a chronic liver disease
    • He is being treated with clotting factor concentrates
    • He was exposed to hepatitis A within the past 2 weeks

Who should not get the hepatitis A vaccine or should wait to get it:

If your child is sick, wait to get the vaccine until his symptoms go away. Do not let him get a second dose if he had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose.

Risks of the hepatitis A vaccine:

The area where your child got the shot may be sore or tender. This is usually mild and goes away in a few hours. He may also have a headache or loss of appetite, or feel tired for up to 2 days. He may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening. If your child has severe allergies, including to latex, ask if the vaccine contains ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction.

Apply a warm compress

to the area where your child got the vaccine to relieve swelling and pain.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.