Date: July 16, 2019

Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 29. Humidex 37. UV index 7 or high.

Temp
26.7C

Feels like 36C

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Immunization

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Hepatitis A Vaccine

This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, July 21, 2016 3:55 PM

Environmental Health & Prevention Services

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver which may cause nausea, fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).

Commonly caused by eating or drinking fecally contaminated food or water, or if hands are not washed thoroughly after using the toilet and before eating or handling food, the virus can be transmitted to others.

More common in developing countries, and frequently found in raw shellfish.

After the virus enters the body it can take 15-50 days before you may feel sick and symptoms can last for 2-4 weeks or longer. It is common for young children to show no symptoms when they are infected.

Indications for Hepatitis A:

  • Travel to developing countries, especially where water supplies are not adequately treated.
  • Potential occupational exposure to raw sewage.

Vaccine administration:

  • One dose gives immunity for up to one year. A second dose in 6-12 months extends the protection for up to 20 years according to the latest research.
  • If Hepatitis A and B vaccine are both required, they can be given in the form of Twinrix which is a combination of the two. Three doses of Twinrix are needed for long term protection. The first two doses are at least one month apart, and give up to one year’s immunity; the third dose at least 5 months after the second gives long term immunity.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid giving vaccine during an active illness with fever.
  • Allergy to any component of the vaccine.

Adverse reactions:

  • Mild soreness or redness at the site of the injection.
  • Headache, fatigue, or a slight fever may occur in the first 24 hours after the injection.

How to prevent viral Hepatitis A:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing diapers or any other contact with fecal material, and before handling or eating food.
  • Avoid eating undercooked or raw shellfish. If travelling outside Canada, be sure the water you drink has been purified.
  • Consider vaccination if your personal and/or professional life puts you at risk (i.e. sewage worker, injectable drug user).

A severe allergic reaction, although rare, may occur following the use of this or any vaccine. Therefore it is necessary to remain in the building for at least 15 minutes after receiving your injection.

Any serious reaction to vaccines should be reported to the family physician and to  Lambton Public Health.