Hepatitis A Vaccine
Vaccination Recommendations During Current Outbreak
Vaccination efforts are underway targeting at-risk groups by County public health and our community health care partners.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) routinely recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children, for persons who are at increased risk for infection, and for any person wishing to obtain immunity.
Two shots of the hepatitis A virus vaccine are recommended. The vaccine may be given as a twin vaccine against both hepatitis A and B. Anyone who received their first hepatitis vaccination before mid-September, 2017, should get a second dose now to complete the series and assure long-term protection. Although the first dose of the vaccine is considered to be around 95 percent effective, that protection will eventually begin to decrease and a second shot boosts immunity for between 20 and 40 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Who Should Get the Hepatitis A Virus Vaccine?
Due to the current outbreak, the San Diego County Public Health Officer strongly recommends the following groups be vaccinated with the hepatitis A vaccine:
- People who are homeless.
- Users of illegal drugs.
- Men who have sex with men.
- People with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. They may not be at increased risk of getting hepatitis A but are at increased risk of poor outcomes if infected.
- People who work with, provide services to, or clean up after the homeless and/or illegal drug users
- Food handlers who have adult clients. Food handlers are not at increased risk, but if infected can impact large number of people. Children get routine vaccinations for hepatitis A, so vaccination is not recommended for food handlers in schools unless they are in an at-risk group.
- Anyone who is concerned about hepatitis A virus exposure and wants to be immune. During the present outbreak, hepatitis A vaccine is not being recommended for general public.
In addition to several of the above groups, the CDC routinely recommends vaccinations for:
- People with clotting factor disorders.
- People who conduct laboratory research with the virus.
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common.
- People in close personal contact with adopted children from countries where hepatitis A is common.
Where Can I Get Vaccinated?
- Call 2-1-1 to find a community clinic near you to request the Hepatitis A virus vaccine.
- List of community health centers
- List of Public Health Center Immunization Clinic sites
Other Hepatitis A Virus Prevention
- Don’t have sex with someone who has hepatitis A virus infection.
- Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils.
- Don’t share food, drinks, or smokes with other people.
What If I Need More Help?
Please contact your local health care provider. If you are uninsured, call 2-1-1.