Hepatitis A pediatric vaccine will not protect your child against infection with hepatitis B, C, and E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It may also not protect a child from hepatitis A if the child is already infected with the virus, even if the child does not yet show symptoms.
The hepatitis A pediatric vaccine is given in a series of 2 shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is between 12 and 23 months old. The booster shot is then given 6 months later. Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.
What is hepatitis A Pediatric Vaccine?
Hepatitis is a serious disease caused by a virus. Hepatitis A is spread through contact with the stool (bowel movements) of a person infected with the hepatitis A virus. This usually occurs by eating food or drinking water that has become contaminated as a result of handling by an infected person.
Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.
The hepatitis A pediatric vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in children. The vaccine works by exposing your child to a small amount of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor if your child has:
- A bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
- A history of seizures;
- A neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain;
- An allergy to latex rubber;
- A weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
- If the child is taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).
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