Combined Hepatitis A & B Vaccine
What are Hepatitis A & B?
Hepatitis A and B are an infection to the liver, but they are transmitted through different media. Their incubation periods are also not the same. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated water. Its incubation period is 15- 50 days. Hepatitis B, however, is transmitted through blood and body fluids. Its incubation period can last up to 6 months. Hepatitis A is a less severe disease compared with Hepatitis B. Hepatitis A rarely causes acute liver failure, but about 1 in 4 Hepatitis B patients will evolve into cirrhosis or liver cancer. Liver failure and death may happen to patients with critical conditions.
Prevention of Hepatitis A & B
Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent Hepatitis. A combined Hepatitis A and B Vaccine will give the body immunity to both Hepatitis A and B viruses. It is convenient and more protective. It requires two less doses compared with the vaccine that gives immunity to either one of the viruses.
3 doses should be injected in 6 months. The second dose can be injected 1 month after the first injection. The third one is 5 months after the second one. After three doses, you will have a lifelong immunity and your body will produce enough antibodies to defeat the Hepatitis A and B viruses.
Who should be vaccinated?
- Frequent visit to or residing in middle to high risk places, e.g. Mexico, Caribbean, and Africa
- Male homosexuals and bisexuals
- Food and catering operators
- Family members or partner who are Hepatitis carriers
- People with chronic liver disease
- People who receive blood transfusion or blood product often
- People who are on dialysis
- Healthcare workers who need to have contact with blood or body fluids
What are the common side effects?
The only side effect is the pain caused by the injection, but it will wear off soon. Few will experience fatigue and headache.
Who are not recommended to get vaccinated?
- People who are allergic to vaccine or Hepatitis B vaccine
- People who are having severe fever
- Children who are seriously allergic to yeast (a bread ingredient)
- Must have checked Hepatitis A/B antigen and antibody within 3 months and provide a valid test report for the doctor to determine whether you are suitable for the injection.
- For those who fail to provide a valid report, Hepatitis A/B antigen and antibody test can be completed at our center (additional test fee required).
Our registered doctor will provide consultation to determine whether you are suitable for the injection (consultation fee is HK$380).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Travel Health Services, Department of Health – Hepatitis A
- Viral Hepatitis Preventive Service, Department of Health – Hepatitis A
- Viral Hepatitis Preventive Service, Department of Health – Hepatitis B http://www.info.gov.hk/hepatitis/big5/hep_b_set.htm