You can protect yourself from hepatitis A with a vaccine. Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause a very serious infection.
You can get this virus in two ways. One way is to eat food contaminated with the virus. The second way is from close contact with someone who has the virus.
The vaccine is recommended for some children at 6 months of age. It's also recommended for men who have sex with men and for people with liver disease. People who are going to travel to countries where hepatitis is common should also get the vaccine.
The vaccine is given as two separate shots in your arm. The first shot gives you some protection. But the second one protects you for at least 20 years. You can get the second shot 6 months after the first one.
The shot may cause some pain in the arm. It can also cause a headache, tiredness, or nausea. But these symptoms aren't common. If you have a bad reaction to the first shot, tell your doctor. In this case, it may not be a good idea to get the second shot.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: October 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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