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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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North Carolina Immunization Branch

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Hepatitis A

The Disease

“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections all can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a family of viral infections that affect the liver; the most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  There are vaccines to protect against Hepatitis A and B.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces, or stool, of an infected person.

The Vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine. No part of the vaccine is “live.”  It is safe and effective at preventing Hepatitis A.

Who Should get Vaccinated?

Vaccination is recommended for all individuals at 1 year of age.  Two doses should be given at least six months apart.  Adults who have never received Hepatitis A vaccine should receive it if they:

  • Live in a community with a high rate of hepatitis A
  • Are a man that has sex with other men
  • Use street drugs
  • Work or travel to countries with high rates of hepatitis A
  • Have long-term liver disease
  • Receive blood products to help your blood clot
  • Work with HAV-infected animals or work with HAV in research setting

North Carolina Requirements

Hepatitis A vaccination is not required in North Carolina.

Additional Resources:

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