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Hepatitis A



Hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix, Vaqta) is used to prevent hepatitis A, a type of liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with food, drinks, or objects which have been contaminated by feces or stool of an HAV-infected person.

How it works

Hepatitis A vaccine belongs to a category of medicines called as vaccines. It is a viral vaccine, containing killed or inactivated hepatitis A virus particles. The vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies, which are proteins that will fight and kill the virus and prevent hepatitis A infection.

Common side effects

Nausea, Pain, Pharyngitis, Abdominal pain, Anaphylactic reaction, Convulsion, Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Loss of appetite, Feeling of discomfort, Skin redness, Tenderness, Vomiting, Warm sensation


Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor before taking the vaccine if you have a weakened immune system due to cancer, use of anti-cancer drugs, dialysis or HIV infection.
  • Inform your doctor if you have problems with blood clotting or if you have hepatitis A infection or live in an area prone to hepatitis A infection.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if you experience dizziness or headache after taking hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to hepatitis A or any other vaccines or any of its ingredients
  • Do not take if suffering with fever or bleeding disorders.

Frequently asked questions

Hepatitis A

Q. Is hepatitis A infection curable?
No. Hepatitis A infection is not curable. In most cases, treatment is not required. However, the symptoms of hepatitis A can be controlled.

Q. Is hepatitis A infection fatal or life-threatening?
No. Hepatitis A infection usually does not cause liver disease. But in some cases, it may lead to acute liver failure which can be life-threatening.

Q. Is hepatitis A infection contagious?
Yes. Hepatitis A virus infection is contagious.

Q. Does it spread through saliva or sharing of food?
It spreads only if a person comes in contact with the feces (stools) of the infected person.

Q. Does hepatitis A vaccine cause fever?
Mild fever may occur after hepatitis A vaccine administration . Contact your doctor if your fever worsens or does not go away.

Q. Is hepatitis A vaccine necessary?
Although not mandatory, hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for children (18 months-2 years) in India and adults who do not live in hepatitis A prevalent area.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)