Your Child's Immunizations: Hepatitis A Vaccine (HAV)

Your Child's Immunizations: Hepatitis A Vaccine (HAV)

Lea este articulo en EspanolThe hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes fever, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice, and can lead to community-wide epidemics. Childcare centers are a common site of outbreaks.

Immunization Schedule

The vaccine is recommended for children 12-23 months old, followed by a second dose 6-18 months later.

Additionally, the vaccine is recommended for older kids and adults who are at high risk for the disease. This includes people who live in, travel to, or adopt children from locations with high rates of HAV; people with clotting disorders; and people with chronic liver disease. It also can be given to anyone who desires immunity to the disease.

The HAV vaccine also is useful for staff of childcare facilities or schools where they may be at risk of exposure. If you plan to travel, consult your doctor in advance so you and your family have time to complete any required immunizations.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

Besides protecting the individual child, vaccination against HAV can help prevent epidemics. Some infected kids do not have any symptoms, but can still spread the virus to others. Having many young kids vaccinated against HAV can limit the spread of the disease in a community.

Possible Risks

Side effects are usually mild fever, and tenderness, swelling, and redness at the site of the injection. Allergic reactions to the vaccine are rare.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if your child:

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

Your child may have fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness in the area where the shot was given. Pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication and to find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2014





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteCDC: Pre-teen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, pre-teens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
Web SiteAmerican Liver Foundation This nonprofit organization promotes liver health and disease prevention.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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