Hepatitis A vaccination for travel

Hepatitis A is a form of the hepatitis virus that can be contracted through food or drink, can result in high fevers, jaundice, and eventually cause acute liver disease.

What is the Hepatitis A vaccination?

The hepatitis A vaccination is the vaccine used to prevent Hepatitis A. They are given to children in at-risk areas, but is not universally mandatory. Check with your doctor if you need the vaccination before you travel.

How long before you travel do you need a Hepatitis A vaccination?

Hepatitis A is a multi-dose vaccine given in two doses. Ideally, you should get the first dose at least two weeks before you travel and then follow up with the second dose as scheduled five and a half months later.

Having this vaccination can help protect you while abroad, and alongside comprehensive travel insurance, should be considered an absolute must if you are travelling to an area where hepatitis A is common.

Are there any side effects to the Hepatitis A vaccine?

Common side effects that warrant no follow-up with your GP (unless you personally have concerns or the symptoms are persistent) include:

  • A low fever
  • A loss of appetite or general nausea
  • A headache
  • Injection site associated pain

However, more serious symptoms you need to look out for include:

  • Fainting spells or extreme lethargy
  • A high fever

To reduce risk when receiving this vaccination you should disclose all your pre-existing medical conditions and take details of all the medication you take, as well as any recent vaccinations you might have had.

How long does the Hepatitis A vaccine last?

Though there is not a strict timeline on how long the vaccine will last, the consensus is that this is a long-lasting vaccine that should last at least up to ten years.

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