Hep A Vaccine details, schedule and side effects
Summary: Hep A vaccine should be taken by people who are prone to get the virus, especially people who are traveling and people who are visiting or living in high risk areas. Vaccination is all that it takes. It is a very simple and effective method of treatment with effects that can last for more than ten years.
Hep A vaccine or hepatitis A vaccine is a vaccine developed to counter the effects of the Hepatitis A virus. The vaccine was first successfully developed at Merck by Maurice Hilleman. Merck is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and was established in 1891. They can be credited with creating the hepatitis A vaccine. The vaccine is very successful, shown to be effective in more than 95% of the cases. The effects of the vaccine are long-lasting and can last for more than a decade. An inactivated Hepatitis A virus is injected into the system and this provides long term immunity.
The hep A vaccine was first used around 1996 on children living in areas that had a high risk of hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is a very common disease found in many parts of the world and is especially prevalent in poor countries with low standards of hygiene. The virus is most commonly spread through fecal contamination where the virus gets into food or water supply. In 1999, the use of the vaccine also spread to lower risk areas and today, it is recommended in the U.S. for all children around the age of 12 to 13 in a bid to eliminate the virus from the world totally.
The United States Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the following types of people be given the
hep A vaccine:
Children more than one year old
People who are prone to getting Hepatitis due to sexual activity
Those who have chronic liver disease
People being treated with clotting factor concentrates
People who are in close proximity with the virus (like doctors or aid workers)
People living in a high risk area
People who travel are also advised to get the hep A vaccine. Hepatitis A is preventable and all it takes is a vaccine. If not taken, then the person stands the risk of getting the virus from a restaurant or café, especially one where hygiene standards are less than desirable. Geographical regions where the virus is prone to be present are Eastern Europe, the far eastern countries, Latin America, Central America, Africa and India.
The hep A vaccine should be injected in the muscle of the upper arm in two doses for maximum effect. An initial dose should be given followed by a secondary dose a year or six months later. The vaccine will come into effect 2 to 4 weeks after injection and effects can last for up to ten years.