Hepatitis A Vaccine

Sayenna Uduman
People at Increased Risk of Hav Infection Should Be Immunized Routinely
• All susceptible people traveling to or working in countries that have high or intermediate hep A endemicity should be immunized or receive Intramuscular standard immunoglobulin before departure. One dose of single-antigen vaccine administered at any time before departure can provide adequate protection for most healthy people
• Susceptible people with chronic liver disease or those who are awaiting or have received liver transplants should be immunized because they are at increased risk of fulminant hepatitis
• Household and sexual contacts. All previously unimmunized people with close personal contact with a person with serologically confirmed HAV infection, such as household and sexual contacts, should receive HepA vaccine or IGIM within 2 weeks after the most recent exposure. Serologic testing of contacts is not recommended, because testing adds unnecessary cost and may delay administration of post exposure prophylaxis.
• Newborn infants of HAV-infected mothers. Perinatal transmission of HAV is rare. Some experts advise giving IGIM (0.02 mL/kg) to an infant if the mother’s symptoms began between 2 weeks before and 1 week after delivery. Severe disease in healthy infants is rare.

• Post-exposure prophylaxis for unimmunized patients includes either a single-dose of HAV single-antigen vaccine or immune globulin (IGIM) as soon as possible, and within 14 days after exposure. No information exists regarding the efficacy of IGIM or vaccine if administered >2 weeks after exposure
• Pre-exposure prophylaxis; HepA vaccine is preferred in all populations unless contraindicated and should be administered at least 2 weeks before expected exposure. Completion of the vaccine series according to the licensed schedule is necessary for long -term protection.

Even though we have effective vaccines against HAV, we should not forget the importance of cleanliness. The virus, excreted in feces, often is spread through contaminated waters, but food in restaurant and child care center, kitchens handled by infected workers who have not washed properly also is a common source of outbreaks. Fruits and vegetables, salads, cold cuts and sandwiches, milk, and juices all have been implicated in HAV infection. Hand washing really is cost effective!

Hepatitis A Vaccine Hepatitis A Vaccine 01/09/2001
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