- The hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses at least six months apart. One dose gives very good protection against hepatitis A and two doses gives 100 percent protection.
- You cannot get infected with hepatitis A or B from these vaccines.
Who should get hepatitis A vaccine?
All children should get two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.
Children should get the first dose when they are 12 months (one year) of age. They should get the second dose six months after the first dose.
People at high risk for hepatitis A
Some people are more likely than others to get hepatitis A. The following groups of people may be at an increased risk of hepatitis A and should get the vaccine:
- People who are homeless or in unstable living situations, including shelters
- People who use drugs, either injection or non-injection
- Men who have sex with men
- People in, or recently out of jail or prison
- People who are exposed to a hepatitis A outbreak (for example, if you ate at a restaurant where a recent hepatitis A outbreak took place)
- People who travel to countries with high rates of hepatitis A
- This includes countries in Central and South America, Asia (except Japan), Africa, Eastern Europe, and Mexico. If you plan to go to one of these areas, you should get your first dose of hepatitis A vaccine at least four weeks before you travel.
- Babies 6 through 11 months traveling outside of the US should get 1 dose. This travel dose does not count toward the series. These children should still get two doses starting at 1 year of age.
- Family and close contacts of an adopted child who recently arrived from a country with high rates of hepatitis A
- People who live with or have sex with someone who has hepatitis A
- People with chronic liver disease
- People who work with nonhuman primates (such as monkeys) that have hepatitis A or work with hepatitis A in a research laboratory setting
If you are traveling:
- Start the hepatitis A vaccine series at least four weeks before you travel.
- Babies aged six months and older should get the hepatitis A vaccine before any travel outside of the U.S.
- For more information, see Health for Travelers and Immunizations for Travelers.
Other Vaccine Information
Hepatitis A Vaccine Information Statement (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Hepatitis A Vaccine: Reasons to Consider Vaccination (PDF) (Immunization Action Coalition)
Information for health care providers
Ask the experts (Immunization Action Coalition)
Guidelines and recommendations- hepatitis A (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Immunization Schedules (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Pink Book (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Vaccines and Immunizations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)