The hepatitis A and B vaccine is a combined injection that protects against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Hepatitis A and B vaccine side effects are uncommon and usually mild, such as headaches and tiredness. There are different combined hepatitis A and B vaccines for children and adults.
If you need the hepatitis A and B vaccine, you should get it at least 28 days before travel, as you will need two doses before the trip.
A full course involves three doses, but you will need your third dose a minimum of 152 days after your second, so you can get that when you return from your trip.
The hepatitis A and B vaccine lasts 25 years for hepatitis A and provides lifelong protection against hepatitis B, if a full course is given.
Like all medicines and vaccines, the hepatitis A and B injection can cause side effects, but most people do not experience any at all.
If you do experience hepatitis A and B vaccine side effects, they are very unlikely to be serious.
Hepatitis A and B vaccine side effects can include:
feeling generally unwell
muscle and joint pain
pain where you had the injection
If your hepatitis A and B vaccine side effects do not improve, or if they become worse, you should talk to your doctor.
Generally, everyone visiting a destination where there is a risk of hepatitis A and hepatitis B should check if they need the vaccination.
Especially young children, gay men, drug users and travellers who visit or stay with the local population in risk areas, should check if the vaccine is recommended, as they have a greater risk of hepatitis A and B transmission.
However, for some people the hepatitis A and B vaccine can cause problems and they may need to get advice before getting the vaccination. This includes people who are:
allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine
currently unwell with a fever
suffering from a poor or reduced immune system
diagnosed with a blood problem or bruise easily
prone to fainting while having injections
pregnant or breastfeeding
planning to have a baby
You can book a free telephone consultation with one of our prescribing nurses for a personal assessment to clarify whether you should get the hepatitis A and B vaccine before your trip.
The combined hepatitis A and B vaccine for children can be used from one year of age up to 15-years-old.
If your children need the hepatitis A and B vaccine, they will have a total of two doses.
Your children only need one dose before the trip, and it should be taken at least two weeks before travel, to ensure that they are protected. The second dose can be given 6-12 months following the initial vaccination.
It is recommended that your children finish the complete vaccination course of two injections. If not, they may not be fully protected against hepatitis A and B.
The vaccine lasts 25 years for hepatitis A and provides lifelong protection against hepatitis B, if a full course is given.
If there is any possibility that you may be at risk of hepatitis A and hepatitis B, it is recommended that you check whether you need the vaccine, as the diseases can be fatal. For the price of the hepatitis A and B vaccine, see below.
Note that the price of the hepatitis A and B vaccine for children may be lower than the below displayed price.
Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
June 25, 2019