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Hepatitis A vaccination

Hepatitis A vaccination

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Hepatitis A is a highly infectious virus that causes inflammation of your liver. You’re at risk of hepatitis A infection from food and water that has been contaminated by human faeces, or if you’ve been in direct contact with somebody who is infectious. Hepatitis A infection is most common in regions of the world where there is poor sanitation, such as the Indian sub-continent, sub-Saharan and North Africa, parts of the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America. So, you’ll need to make sure you receive the hepatitis A vaccine before you visit these areas

Hepatitis A, what is it?

Hepatitis A vaccination

You’ll need two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine. The second dose is usually given 6-12 months after the first. The first dose gives you good protection and is sufficient for your travel. The rationale for the second dose is to provide long lasting immunity.

A Hepatitis A Vaccination starts from £61 per dose for adults and £54 per dose for children. If you’re travelling then there’ll be a Travel Consultation cost of £30 per person and the vaccine cost, however, if you’re not travelling then it’s only the vaccination cost you pay.

Hepatitis A vaccine price

Dr Ravi Gowda

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases or one of his highly trained clinical colleagues will be looking after your vaccine requirements.

Who will be providing your Hep A vaccination?
We're a team of trained experts

Experts in Infectious Diseases

and Travel Medicine

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Over 21 years of experience in Travel Health

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Cared for more than

10,000  patients

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Over 150 5 star reviews on Google Reviews

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Book appointment online

1. Book an appointment online

Book and pay for your travel consultation online.

Attend your consultation

2. Attend your consultation

Complete an online health assessment and attend your consultation.

Get your vaccination

3. Get your Hep A vaccination

Get the vaccination you need and you're ready to go.

How it works
Prevention icon

As a traveller you can reduce the risk of hepatitis A transmission with some simple, basic personal hygiene measures, this includes: - Regular hand washing (especially after you use the toilet, change nappies and before preparing or eating food). If hand washing facilities are not available, then you should use alcohol gel instead. - Make sure you drink from unopened, factory produced bottles and cans, which have an intact seal. - You’re generally safe with drinks made from boiled water and served hot, for example tea or coffee. - The only caveat to this is that some parasitic cysts can survive boiling and so you should ideally disinfect with either iodine or chlorine tablets (these are available at Health Klinix). - Don’t drink tap water, or use ice. If you can’t avoid this, then there are treatments that can be used to disinfect the water instead. - Recently prepared, thoroughly cooked food served hot, fruit that you can peel yourself, and pasteurised dairy produce are also good options for food. - You should avoid foods such as salads, uncooked fruit and vegetables, food left uncovered in warm places, unpasteurised dairy produce, raw meat and fish.

Prevention
Treatment icon

Unfortunately, once you’ve caught Hepatitis A disease there’s no specific treatment. So we recommend getting the hepatitis A vaccination.

Hepatitis A treatment
Symptoms icon

Hepatitis A symptoms are generally mild or even absent in young children. However as you get older the symptoms become much more serious and Hepatitis for women and men can include: - Fever - Loss of appetite - Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) - Loss of appetite - Nausea - In rare cases you may have life-threatening liver failure

Hepatitis A symptoms
Virus icon

Hep A is a viral infection that’s common in the tropics. You can become infected by eating or drinking food and water contaminated with the virus. The virus is present in stools, so you’re at risk when the hygiene standards are poor.

Hepatitis A causes
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Hepatitis A is a generally a well tolerated vaccine and most of the time you won't have any side effects. If you do, then common side effects include; headache, injection site pain and soreness, and sometimes fever.

Hepatitis A vaccine side effects
Frequently asked questions
  • Once you have received the primary course of the hepatitis A vaccine you’ll be protected for 25 years. Once your 25 years is up, you’ll then require a final booster dose for life long protection. The first dose will give you protection for your travel while the second offers long term protection.

  • Hepatitis A is most common in countries where there’s poor sanitation, such as the Indian sub-continent, sub-Saharan and North Africa, parts of the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

     

    If you’re travelling you’re at higher risk of hepatitis A if you:

    • Are visiting/staying with the local population in high-risk countries 

    • Frequently visit higher risk areas or who stay there for prolonged periods of time

     

    You’re also at risk regardless of travel if you belong to any of the following groups:

    • Those who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as liver disease or haemophilia

    • Men who have sex with men

    • People who inject drugs

    • Those who may be exposed to the virus through their work

    • Individuals travelling to areas of hepatitis outbreaks who have limited access to safe water and medical care


    If you’re travelling to a country with high prevalence for hepatitis A, we generally recommend vaccination. However, for lower risk countries, vaccination is only recommended if you fall into any of the high-risk groups like those mentioned above.

  • As with all vaccinations and pregnancy, we have to weigh the benefits and risks of the vaccination to both the mother and the baby. As a general rule most inactivated vaccines can be given in pregnancy if the risks of the infection are significant. The hepatitis A vaccine is inactivated and so if you’re pregnant it can be given after a careful risk assessment by a clinician.

  • We usually define the incubation period as the time of infection to the point of you manifesting the hepatitis A disease symptoms and this ranges from 2 to 6 weeks for hepatitis A. What's interesting is that you’re most contagious in the second half of this period when you don't actually have any symptoms.

  • Yes, very much so in its own way but not through casual contact. Hepatitis A virus is found in faeces and  areas of poor sanitation and hand hygiene, where food and water can be contaminated. This is what we call faeco-oral  transmission. You can also pass it on with close personal contact.

     

    You're most contagious in the second half of your incubation period and when you develop symptoms. However, after the first week of jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes and skin) you’re no longer infectious.

Authors:

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine

MBBS, MRCP(UK), DTM&H, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, DFFP

Caitlin Lancaster, BSc

 

Resources:

  1. Hepatitis A - Chapter 17 Green book,Immunisation against Infectious Diseases

  2. Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book 2024

  3. Hepatitis A  - World Health Organisation