Hepatitis A

About the Vaccine:

The hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to protect against the disease. Anyone desiring immunity can receive the vaccine.


Who should get the vaccine:

  • Children (at age 1)
  • Adults

High-risk populations:

  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men
  • Drug users, injected or otherwise
  • Homeless people
  • People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People with clotting-factor disorders
  • People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A

Schedule information:

  • After age 1 - 2 doses, 2 months apart
  • Combination vaccine (hep A/B): 18 years and older - 3 doses, 2 months apart over 6 months

Hepatitis A outbreaks are occurring in the United States.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Safety & side effects:

Just as with any medication, there are potential side effects to vaccines. Talk to your health care provider about specific side effects associated with this vaccine and learn more about vaccine safety and common side effects.

Pregnancy considerations:

Pregnant women may receive the vaccine if a doctor determines them to be at increased risk for contracting the disease.

About Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that causes inflammation of the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms range from mild illness to severe complications that can last for several months and cause death in rare cases.


The hepatitis A virus is spread primarily through contaminated food and water but can also be spread through close physical contact. Proper hygiene, especially hand washing, can help prevent transmission, but the most powerful protection comes from vaccines.

There have been 25,000 cases reported since 2016.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Children under 6 typically do not display symptoms, but symptoms common to older children and adults include:

  • Fever
  • Fatique
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

There have been nearly 5x as many cases of hepatitis A in Florida in 2019 compared to 2018.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention