The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Hepatitis A Travel Vaccine 

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water or by direct contact with an infectious person. Hepatitis A can cause acute inflammation of the liver which can be associated with debilitating symptoms and death in some cases. Each year there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A globally. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A.

Although symptoms of hepatitis A are often mild or absent in young children, the disease becomes more serious with advancing age. It can take up to 14-28 days for any signs and symptoms of hepatitis A to develop. Symptoms of hepatitis A range from mild to severe and can include weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness, headache, diarrhoea, fever, nausea. Jaundice usually occurs approximately a week later.  

Hepatitis A Travel Vaccine

A number of factors are considered when determining whether hepatitis A vaccine is advised for travel to a particular country. These factors include the prevalence of hepatitis A in the local population, access to improved sanitation and economic development of the country. 

The hepatitis A vaccine duration of protection can be expected to be at least 25 years and is probably indefinite. However it is recommended by Public Health England that a booster dose at 25 years is indicated for those at ongoing risk of hepatitis A. 

Hepatitis A Transmission 

The hepatitis A virus is transmitted primarily by faecal-oral route and this is usually though consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. Foods that grow close to the ground such as fresh fruit and vegetables can be a risk and raw or undercooked food such as fish and meat. Food handlers excreting hepatitis A virus can contaminate foods if they do not observe good personal hygiene. Hepatitis A occurs worldwide but is high levels of infections are most commonly found in low income countries with poor sanitary conditions. Regions where hepatitis A include Indian sub-continent, North Africa and South and Central America. 


Is the Hepatitis A vaccine free?

Please contact Urwin Pharmacy for more information