hepatitis A pediatric vaccine

Pronunciation: HEP a TYE tis

Brand: Havrix Pediatric, Vaqta Pediatric

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine?

Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

What is hepatitis A pediatric vaccine?

Hepatitis is a serious disease caused by a virus. 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.

This 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.

Vaccination with hepatitis A pediatric vaccine is recommended for all children who are 12 months of age or older. This vaccine is also recommended in children who travel to certain areas of the world where hepatitis A is a common disease.

Like any vaccine, the hepatitis A pediatric vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine will not protect against infection with hepatitis B, C, and E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It may also not protect against hepatitis A if your child is already infected with the virus, even without showing symptoms.

Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing hepatitis A, or if the child is allergic to neomycin.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an allergy to latex rubber; or
  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine.

Hepatitis A pediatric vaccine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 months old.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

Your child will receive a shot of the hepatitis A pediatric vaccine and then a booster shot 6 to 18 months later.

Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

To prevent hepatitis A while traveling, the child should receive this vaccine at least 2 weeks before the trip. Your child's doctor will determine the best dosing schedule for your situation.

Your child's doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or the doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if your child will miss a booster dose or if he or she gets behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine, or the child may not be fully protected against disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of hepatitis A pediatric vaccine?

Get emergency medical help if your child has signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Call your child's doctor at once if the child has:

  • extreme drowsiness, fainting;
  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;
  • a seizure; or
  • high fever (within a few hours or a few days after the vaccine).

Common side effects may include:

  • fever;
  • irritability, drowsiness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • headache; or
  • swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmth where the shot was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What other drugs will affect hepatitis A pediatric vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.

Also tell the doctor if your child has recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

  • steroid medicine;
  • cancer treatments;
  • medicine to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders; or
  • medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection.

If your child is using any of these medications, he or she may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect hepatitis A pediatric vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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