The hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection with the virus. The hepatitis A vaccine is typically given in two doses — initial vaccination followed by a booster shot six months later.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following individuals receive a hepatitis A vaccine:

  • All children at age 1, or older children who didn't receive the vaccine at age 1
  • Laboratory workers who may come in contact with hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People planning travel to areas of the world with high rates of hepatitis A
  • People who use illegal drugs, injected and noninjected
  • People who receive treatment with clotting-factor concentrates
  • People with chronic liver disease

If you're concerned about your risk of hepatitis A, ask your doctor if you should be vaccinated.

Follow safety precautions when traveling

If you're traveling in regions where hepatitis A outbreaks occur, peel and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables yourself and avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish. Drink bottled water and use it when brushing your teeth. Don't drink beverages of unknown purity, with or without ice. If bottled water isn't available, boil tap water before drinking it.

Practice good hygiene

Thoroughly wash your hands often, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper and before preparing food or eating.

Sept. 09, 2014