Hepatitis A Vaccine

For long-term protection against the hepatitis A liver disease, you should get immunized.

Ask your doctor about getting the hepatitis A vaccine. You can also go to one of the Health Department's immunization walk-in clinics.

Vaccine Recommendations

For lasting protection, you need to take two doses of the vaccine at least 6 months apart.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children between ages 1 and 2 get vaccinated for hepatitis A. In addition, you should get vaccinated if:

  • You are traveling to a country with a high rate of hepatitis A. This includes countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa and parts of Asia. You are best protected if you take the first dose at least a month before travel, but the vaccine will still provide protection if you get the first dose 2 weeks before travel.
  • You live or go to school in a place with a high rate of hepatitis A.
  • You are located in certain outbreak settings.
  • You work with the hepatitis A virus in a laboratory.
  • You are a sexually active homosexual/bisexual man.
  • You have an existing chronic liver disease.
  • You are an injecting drug user.

Outbreaks

The hepatitis A vaccine may also be used to help stop the spread of infection when there is an outbreak.

Studies have not found an increased risk for hepatitis A for people working in certain specific industries, including food service, health care, child care and sewage. However, people who work in these industries should still consider vaccination to reduce their risk, especially if they are in a community experiencing an ongoing outbreak.

Additional Resources

More Hepatitis Information