skip to Main Content

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral liver infection. It is passed from an infected person to another person through close contact or by eating contaminated food or drinks. Hepatitis A symptoms can last for up to 2 months and include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, joint pain, intense itching, and jaundice. Some people, including children, have no symptoms but can spread the disease to others.

While Hepatitis A does not usually cause long-term illness, it can be debilitating while someone is sick with it.  In rare cases, Hepatitis A can cause acute liver failure requiring hospitalization. Liver failure sometimes requires a liver transplant.

The Hepatitis A vaccine requires a booster. When someone gets both doses on time, they are more than 95% protected against is Hepatitis A.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is very safe. Like most vaccines, mild side effects can include redness or soreness where the vaccine is received, but no serious side effects have been reported.

There have been an estimated 34,000 cases of Hepatitis A in the U.S. since 2016. While people rarely have permanent or serious illness, it can make you very sick and exhausted for months. The vaccine is extremely effective and safe, so there is no good reason not to vaccinate!

Children need 2 doses of the hepatitis A vaccine. The first dose is given between 12 – 23 months of age and the second dose at least 6 months after the first dose.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what other vaccines your family needs.

Do you have a family member due for a Hepatitis A vaccine? Download and print our Hepatitis A fact sheet to prepare for your appointment.

Learn more

Want more information?

How do I know this information is credible?

We work for parents so we make sure that parent concerns are addressed using facts and science and our content is reviewed by experts who have spent their careers studying vaccines. Learn more about how we ensure we are bringing you the best information to help you make healthy choices for your family.

Know the risk: Hepatitis A FACT: Hep A is highly contagious and passed person-to-person through things like unwashed hands. FACT: Kids are dirty and not great at washing hands. FACT: Many kids infected with Hep A have no symptoms but can pass it on to others like their grandparents. FACT: The Hep A vaccine is EXTREMELY safe. There have been NO reported serious adverse reactions to the vaccine. FACT: The Hep A vaccine is the BEST way to protect your child and family from Hepatitis A.
Back To Top