Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The disease can be contracted by eating or drinking infected food or beverages. You can also get it by touching your mouth with hands that are contaminated with infected faeces. Before travelling outside the country, it’s important to ensure that you get your hepatitis A vaccine for protection. Continue reading to learn more about the hepatitis A vaccine in Bury.
Because the majority of persons in the UK are at minimal risk of infection, the hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered. This vaccination is only recommended for persons at high risk.
In most developed countries, vaccination of all children aged one is standard practice. Additionally, if your chance of developing the disease is high, you should go for the vaccine or get re-vaccinated. This is particularly crucial for anyone who may be at risk of developing complications from hepatitis A.
Generally, the following groups of people are encouraged to have a hepatitis A vaccine:
– Anyone who is likely to come into close contact with a person who has hepatitis A.
– Those who intend to go to or live in parts of the world where hepatitis A is widespread, particularly in populations with substandard food hygiene and sanitation.
– Individuals who have had chronic liver disease for an extended period of time.
– Males who have sexual relations with other men.
– Illegal substance abusers (through injection).
– Those whose jobs put them at risk of contracting hepatitis A — this includes those in low-hygiene environments such as sewage workers, homeless shelters and those who deal with monkeys, apes and gorillas.
If you are travelling abroad, you should also consider getting the meningitis ACWY vaccine. Learn more about the vaccine in our previous blog post here:
There are typically three varieties of hepatitis A vaccines available. These are as follows:
– Vaccine exclusively for hepatitis A
– Combination of hepatitis A and B vaccinations
– Combination of hepatitis A and typhoid fever vaccinations
Consult your pharmacist to choose the appropriate vaccination for you. The vaccines are typically available for free on the NHS.
If you are travelling overseas, you should schedule vaccines in advance. They should be started at least 2 to 3 weeks before leaving, if feasible. However, you can have some during the day of travel if necessary.
If you need long-term protection, further vaccination doses are usually needed after six to twelve months.
To learn more about the various forms of hepatitis A vaccinations, visit the NHS Fit for Travel website.
Following hepatitis A vaccination, some people have temporary skin hardness, pain, and redness at the injection site.
Additionally, a tiny, painless lump may develop, but it normally resolves within a few days and should not cause worry.
Rare adverse effects include:
– Feeling sick
– A slightly raised temperature
– Feeling unwell
– Loss of appetite
– A headache
The hepatitis A virus is not curable. If you believe you have contracted the infection, you should consult a pharmacist or your GP.
Try the following to help ease your symptoms:
– Get adequate rest.
– Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
– Consult your pharmacist to get over-the-counter medications to alleviate your symptoms, like itching or pain.
The duration of the protection of the hepatitis A vaccine is yet unknown. Nevertheless, children who received a three-dose vaccine and adults who received a two-dose vaccine should be protected for around 20 to 25 years. If a second dosage is administered six to twelve months after the first, existing studies indicate that antibodies will persist for at least 25 years.
Thus, it is obvious that the vaccination may provide protection for an extended period of time. You should, however, educate yourself about the virus and the criteria for revaccination.
– Hemodialysis patients and persons living with HIV need not be concerned; they can safely obtain inactivated vaccinations such as the one for hepatitis A. Additionally, if someone has misplaced their medical reports, receiving extra doses is not harmful.
– In some instances, pre-vaccination testing may be necessary. To keep vaccination expenses down, this programme may include members of specific ethnic groups or those who reside in areas with a high hepatitis A incidence rate. This also covers users of injectable drugs.
– Typically, it takes between two and four weeks for the protection to come into effect. Due to the long incubation period of the hepatitis A virus, the protective effect may begin immediately.
– Antivirals are rarely used to treat Hepatitis A and the liver is remarkable in its ability to regenerate itself. Generally, a doctor will recommend rest, adequate fluids, and a suitable diet. However, some individuals may require hospitalisation.
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