The Hep-A1 vaccine stands for the Hepatitis vaccine. Hepatitis vaccines come in 5 types, with Hepatitis A being the one with least effect. It is essentially a medical condition or a disease that affects one’s liver. What makes it quite dangerous is that it is an easily communicable disease and is to be blamed for quite a few health related epidemics. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and dark urine.
How it spreads
The virus can be transmitted through faeces, and even unwashed hands or poor hygiene. This means that it can spread fast and easily in an environment with frequent physical contact, maybe a creche or a daycare.
Another way it spreads is through contaminated water or food. The virus is quite tenable and can last for quite a while on dirty surfaces.
When should you get the vaccine?
For infants, the best age to get the first vaccine is between 12-23 months of age, basically between their first and second birthdays. The second dose of the vaccine can be given anywhere between six to 18 months later.
As in adult, if you’re quite susceptible to the disease, it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as possible. You would require 2 doses of the vaccine, preferably 6 months apart. Consider getting the vaccine even if you’re travelling to countries where the virus is prevalent. It would be best to get the vaccine one month before your date of departure.
Side effects of the vaccine
The vaccine is essentially harmless, with only mild side effects being seen in patients. These could include mild headaches, fatigue, soreness in the injection area and temporary loss of appetite.
Severe side effects are rare, but they could include allergic reactions or high persistent fever. In this case, it’s best to consult the doctor immediately.
Who should avoid it
In some cases, the vaccine should be avoided entirely. One of these situations is if you have an allergy to latex, as the vaccine does contain traces of latex and alum. It would also be best to avoid it if you’ve noticed severe allergic reactions to the shots in the past. Do make sure to inform your doctor if you’re pregnant or sick at the time of the shot, as it would be best to postpone it till you’re at the peak of your health.
Who should opt for it
Young children who want to avoid the virus should opt for it at a young age. If you have a history of chronic liver disease that may run in the family, it would be wise to secure yourself against the disease. If there has been an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the community, or if you’re travelling to an area where it is prevalent, a vaccination is a necessary precaution for yourself, and those around you!